North Korea launches new ballistic missiles, increases tensions on the peninsula

The action coincides with the conclusion of South Korean and US naval exercises; on Monday, the 31st, both countries begin air activities that will have more than 200 fighter jets

KCNA via REUTERSNorth Korean missile
North Korea launches two ballistic missiles into the Sea of ​​Japan

THE North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles on Friday, South Korea’s military said, the latest in a series of weapons tests that could culminate in a nuclear test, according to Washington and Seoul. South Korea’s military said it had detected “two ballistic missiles fired from the Tongchon area of ​​Gangwon between 11:59 a.m. (11:59 p.m. yesterday) and 12:18 p.m.,” referring to a province on the east coast. of North Korea. The launches coincide with the end of amphibious naval exercises South Korea and two United States, and two days before the start of air exercises, which will begin on Monday and mobilize more than 200 fighter jets. The regime led by Kim Jong Un considers these exercises as an insult and in response carries out shootings like today. With negotiations on the peninsula long stalled, tensions have escalated this year over a series of military tests by North Korea, which recently declared its nuclear power status “irreversible”.

For months, the United States and South Korea have warned that a new nuclear test is being planned, which would be the seventh in the country’s history and the first since 2017. On Tuesday, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said that the North had everything ready for this test. “It appears that they have already completed preparations for their seventh nuclear test,” he said during a parliamentary speech. Since Yoon Suk-yeol’s arrival, South Korea has increased joint military exercises with the United States, which recently sent a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to the area, and with Japan. Analysts believe Pyongyang wants to take advantage of the deadlock between the United Nations Security Council’s major powers to accelerate its weapons modernization. At a recent council meeting to discuss the launch of a North Korean missile that flew over Japan, China, Pyongyang’s main ally, accused the United States of provoking the series of fires. For months, this example has been divided on how to respond to the communist country’s actions: China and Russia sympathize with Kim Jong Un, and the rest of the council calls for an increase in existing sanctions against the country.

*With information from AFP

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