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Asia: North Korea fires ballistic missile

PostedSeptember 28, 2022, 12:07

AsiaNorth Korea fires a ballistic missile

On Wednesday, South Korea’s military announced that its northern neighbor had carried out an “unidentified” shot.

On September 25, North Korea had already launched a missile.

AFP

The North Korea fired an “unidentified ballistic missile”, the South Korean army announced on Wednesday, just days after its last test, and before a visit to South Korea by US Vice President Kamala Harris. “The North Korea fired an unidentified ballistic missile in the East Sea,” the Seoul Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement, referring to the waters commonly known as the Sea of ​​Japan.

The Japanese Coast Guard also confirmed the possibility of a ballistic missile launch, citing information from the Tokyo Defense Ministry, and asked ships to be vigilant. Pyongyang has conducted an unprecedented series of weapons tests this year and Seoul’s intelligence agency believes the North is preparing for another nuclear test.

The North has completed “a third tunnel at its Punggye-ri nuclear site,” MK Yoo Sang-bum told reporters after a Secret Service briefing in Seoul. Pyongyang is likely to choose the period between “the next Chinese Communist Party congress on Oct. 16 and the U.S. midterm elections on Nov. 7,” he said.

Strengthening cooperation

Pyongyang already fired a short-range ballistic missile on Sunday, which was interpreted as a response to the arrival of the US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan for joint exercises with the South Korean navy off the coast. east of the country.

Conservative South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, who took office in May, has promised to strengthen military cooperation with the United States after his predecessor’s failed attempts at diplomatic rapprochement with the North. Yoon Suk-yeol must also receive Thursday, in Seoul, the American vice-president, Kamala Harris, who must go to the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas.

“Precursor”

Washington is Seoul’s main security ally, with about 28,500 of its soldiers stationed in South Korea. The two countries have long conducted joint exercises emphasizing their purely defensive nature, but North Korea sees them as rehearsals for a future invasion of its territory.

These repeated tests are “a harbinger of Pyongyang’s aggressive attitude next month, with missile strikes and a possible nuclear test”, Kim Jong-dae, of the Yonsei Institute, told AFP. of North Korean studies based in Seoul. “Today’s launch clearly shows that the North is trying to take over the peninsula with a nuclear arsenal at its disposal,” he added.

Atomic bombs tested

On Saturday, the South Korean presidency also warned that North Korea is preparing to test a ballistic missile launched from a submarine (SLBM), a weapon it had already tried in May. Under international sanctions for its weapons programs, North Korea adopted a new doctrine in early September proclaiming that it will never give up nuclear weapons.

The North Korean regime has tested atomic bombs six times since 2006. The latest and most powerful test came in 2017, with an estimated yield of 250 kilotons. Pyongyang mentioned a hydrogen bomb.

(AFP)

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