North Korea launched two ballistic missiles into the East Sea as a reaction to the provocative deployment of a nuclear-armed US submarine at a South Korean port, marking the first such move in decades.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) reported the latest missile launches, stating that the missiles were fired from the Sunan area in Pyongyang, eventually landing in the East Sea (also known as the Sea of Japan).
Japan’s defense ministry confirmed the launches, which come as part of a series of weapons tests by Pyongyang, in response to ongoing US-South Korea joint war games in the region and the allies’ decision to deploy nuclear assets to South Korea.
A North Korean defense ministry spokesperson had previously issued a warning about the deployment of nuclear assets to the Korean Peninsula, cautioning that it could potentially escalate into the worst nuclear conflict crisis in practice.
North Korea’s UN Representative, Kim Sung, addressed the UN Security Council, expressing the country’s determination to respond proportionally to the recent agreement between Washington and Seoul, allowing the deployment of a US nuclear-armed warship to the Korean Peninsula. Kim highlighted the US’s “Washington Declaration,” which discussed potential use of nuclear weapons against Pyongyang during meetings of the “Nuclear Consultative Group,” raising concerns of an unprecedented nuclear war.
Amidst rising tensions, US Indo-Pacific Command Commander Admiral John Aquilino acknowledged that North Korea has developed intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States. South Korea condemned North Korea’s missile launches as significant provocations and violations of UN Security Council resolutions. The region remains on high alert after North Korea’s recent test-firing of an Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missile.