For its part, the US Indo-Pacific Command (IndoPacom) announced in a press release that it was “aware of the launch of two ballistic missiles”, confirming that its desire to protect its Japanese and Korean allies “remains intact”.
These are the seventh and eighth such shootings in two weeks. These come against a backdrop of rising tensions with the US, which has stepped up joint military exercises with Seoul and Tokyo over the same period.
“While strengthening its surveillance and vigilance, our military is ready to operate in the field in close cooperation with the United States,” the South Korean Joint Staff responded in a press release cited by Yonhap.
North Korea’s missile tests have increased over the past two weeks. Two ballistic missiles were launched on Thursday, two days earlier when the North launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) over Japan, forcing some residents of the archipelago to defend themselves.
“(North Korea’s) missile test launch is a routine and planned defensive operation to protect the country’s security and regional peace against direct military threats from the United States. – Century,” the North Korean Civil Aviation Agency said Saturday, without specifying which missile it was, according to the official KCNA news agency.
State media released the statement after the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) held its annual meeting in Montreal on Friday, condemning Pyongyang’s ballistic tests in recent months and saying they pose a danger to civil aviation.
The isolated country considers the resolution, adopted by ICAO, “a political provocation and undermining of the United States by its slave forces.” [sa] sovereignty”.
For their part, Seoul, Tokyo and Washington have stepped up their joint military exercises in recent weeks, and on Thursday conducted new maneuvers involving a US Navy destroyer.
The Pyongyang firing comes amid a record of weapons testing by North Korea’s communist regime, which leader Kim Jong Un has said is an “irreversible” nuclear power, ending the possibility of denuclearization talks.
The United States on Friday announced sanctions against two individuals and three companies accused of illegally exporting oil to North Korea.
Washington, Tokyo and Seoul attended a trilateral meeting on the same day and agreed to “closely coordinate their short- and long-term responses, including with United Nations allies and partners.” Report.
North Korea issued a new statement on Saturday that said it was “following very closely the very worrying development of the current situation”, referring to the deployment of the US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan during joint US-Southern military exercises. week.
The drills, jointly conducted by Seoul and Washington, have drawn the ire of the North Korean regime, Pyongyang, which views them as yet another invasion.
KCNA said on Saturday that the maneuvers were “very provocative and threatening”, adding that the USS Ronald Reagan’s participation was “a kind of military bluff”.
UN Analysts say Pyongyang has taken advantage of the rift in the Security Council to carry out more provocative weapons tests.
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