Korea Tensions
People watch a TV screen showing a news program reporting about North Korea's missile launch with file footage, at a train station in Seoul, South Korea, on Thursday. Photo: AP/Lee Jin-man
politics

N Korea fires 3 ballistic missiles toward sea

38 Comments
By HYUNG-JIN KIM, KIM TONG-HYUNG and MARI YAMAGUCHI

North Korea fired three short-range ballistic missiles toward the sea on Thursday, its neighbors said, the latest in a series of weapons demonstrations this year and one that came just hours after it confirmed its first case of the coronavirus since the pandemic began.

The launches could underscore North Korea’s determination to press ahead with its efforts to expand its arsenal despite the virus outbreak to rally support behind the leader, Kim Jong Un, and keep up pressure on its rivals amid long-dormant nuclear diplomacy.

Thursday’s launches were the North’s first weapons fired since the inauguration of new conservative South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Tuesday.

North Korea has a history of rattling new governments in Seoul and Washington in an apparent bid to boost its bargaining chips in future negotiations. The North Korean nuclear threat will likely top the agenda when Yoon meets visiting U.S. President Joe Biden in Seoul next week.

South Korea, Japan and the U.S. condemned the test of the weapons, which were launched from the North’s capital region on Thursday afternoon.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan condemned the launch when he spoke by phone with his South Korean counterpart, Kim Sung-han, according to a White House statement. The two also discussed President Joe Biden’s visit to South Korea next week, Biden’s first to an Asian country during his presidency. Biden is also scheduled to visit Japan during the whirlwind trip.

The missiles plunged into the waters between North Korea’s eastern coast and outside of Japan’s exclusive economic zone, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said. There was no report of damage to aircraft or vessels.

South Korea’s military said it boosted its readiness and surveillance while maintaining close coordination with the United States. It called on the North to immediately halt its repeated missile firings.

South Korea and Japan released similar flight details, saying the weapons traveled about 350-360 kilometers (217-224 miles) at a maximum altitude of 90-100 kilometers (56-62 miles).

Earlier Thursday, North Korean state media confirmed the country’s first COVID-19 infections as Kim ordered nationwide lockdowns to slow the spread of the virus. Kim also ordered officials to bolster the country’s defense posture to avoid any security vacuum.

In recent months, North Korea has test-launched a spate of missiles in what experts call an attempt to modernize its weapons and pressure the United States and its allies into accepting it as a nuclear state and relax sanctions on the North. Some observers say that despite the elevated anti-virus steps, North Korea would likely continue to build its arsenal with weapons tests to boost public morale and strengthen loyalty for the Kim leadership.

“North Korea’s latest missile firings appear excessive to what would be needed to test and improve military capabilities,” Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, said. “These launches look like a show of strength after the Kim regime publicly admitted to a coronavirus outbreak.”

A statement issued after a meeting chaired by Yoon's national security adviser Kim Sung-han said South Korea would seek “practical” and “stern” measures in cooperation with the international community to respond to the growing North Korean threat.

The North Korean weapons tested recently included a variety of nuclear-capable missiles that could potentially reach South Korea, Japan or the mainland U.S. In March, North Korea ended its self-imposed suspension on huge weapons tests since 2018 with a launch of its biggest missile capable of reaching the entirety of the American homeland.

The U.N. Security Council has typically imposed punishing sanctions on North Korea after it carried out nuclear and long-range missile tests. But that didn't happen in March because veto-wielding members are divided over Russia's war in Ukraine.

Last Saturday, South Korea detected a North Korea ballistic missile launch likely from a submarine, the first such test since last October. There are also signs that the North is preparing to conduct its first nuclear test in nearly five years at a remote testing ground in its northeast.

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.


38 Comments
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Just let him shoot all he want. Is just ending up in the sea anyway. Waste of money if you ask me. But is not like the rest of the world doesn't conduct test and drills too. As long it doesn't end up on our soil, is not really our business to care what he does with his rockets.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

I've never understood North Korea's hatred towards marine life.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Three years of NK's national GDP in the drink.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Don't throw the trash into the Sea of Japan!

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Now if Kim could just place aim at Putin, we would all love him.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Kim: “Who told the press we had corona!?!??

Get them!!!!

Throw them in some missiles!!!

FIRE!!!!!”

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Earlier Thursday, North Korean state media confirmed the country’s first COVID-19 infections as Kim ordered nationwide lockdowns to slow the spread of the virus.

In other words, just an average day in NK.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Seems everytime world attention is focused elsewhere {today , Ukraine } little Potato Head sends some missiles or whatever..."look at me...look at me "

Get a decent haircut and you'll get more interest you TOOL !!!!!!!!!!

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Probably squeezing the last bit he can before his economy tanks even further after the virus starts to spread and he looses his workers. I wouldn't mind it at all if he aimed in the proper direction (somewhere in the Putin region).

6 ( +9 / -3 )

It would be interesting to know more about the dialogue between nations like NK, SK, Japan, the US, China etc.

They are all talking to each other, but the people find out later (sometimes) in history books what went down

5 ( +7 / -2 )

NK spent all their money defense (or offense?), while the citizens live in poverty and starve to death.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

N Korea fires 3 ballistic missiles toward sea

The North Korean news agency wants the world to know that border patrols have captured COVID and its 2 accomplices Delta and Omicron upon illegally entering the country. All three were expelled via separate missiles and sunk to the bottom of the sea.

You.do.not.want.to.mess.with.North.Korea!

End of news.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Time for some more sanctions?

I don't know what else one can do.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Kim: This will scare off COVID.

COVID: I'm already in, baby. Watch your toes at your morning feet kissing sessions.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

N Korea fires 3 ballistic missiles toward sea:

Has Kim really had nothing else better to do than to keep testing all kinds of missiles so very often? For what?

N Korea reported first Covid death. Kim should focus more on the virus spread now, lest things get out of control..

3 ( +5 / -2 )

the worst thing anyone can do is give this obese little troll attention. If the world, including Japan, just ignores him at large he'll stop. As long as he gets attention when he shoots, and that is exactly what he wants, he'll keep doing it.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Kim trying to show "balls"?

But first of all he must grow some!

Or just trying to follow in Putin's footsteps?

His people (Kim's) are starving and have not even basic human rights and he got nothing better to do?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

As the person responsible for cancelling missile defense, Kono Taro should be made to response every time NK test fires a missile. Because there's every chance the next time won't be a test.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Andy, please...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Thas sos from Kim we r suffering virus at peak no vaccine so sos through missile

1 ( +1 / -0 )

N Korea fires 3 ballistic missiles toward sea

Why not fire them north? Do Ukraine a solid and hit some Russian military bases. They would earn some points with Europe and the west. They can say sorry, must have had Russian navigational components.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

HiroToday  07:26 am JST

Just let him shoot all he want. Is just ending up in the sea anyway. Waste of money if you ask me. But is not like the rest of the world doesn't conduct test and drills too. As long it doesn't end up on our soil, is not really our business to care what he does with his rockets.

As a totalitarian Communist leader, Kimbo likes to think that everything in daily life is under control, HIS control. Well guess what? Covid knows no boundaries. None.

And with that, it means that there's something going on in NK that he can't control. Kimmyboy is pissed

This will not do. He has to fire a few dummy rockets to show everyone in the Far East that he's bad, bad, BAD.

We ain't impressed, Marshmallow Head. You have a real problem to face and fight, the whole human race does right now. This is no time for political or ideological spats. Now fight the coronavirus in NK like a man and quit tossing trash around like a brat kid in a theater who has to boo, hiss and scream from the back row, trying to get attention. Cut that jive. Man up, fight the virus problem like a true national leader, grow up and shut up!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

OK, we get it, you can hit the Pacific Ocean with a missile. So how about spending all that money on something more useful, such as, I don't know, vaccines for Covid-19?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Fat Boy at his fish killing again. Don't know what those fish have done to upset him but he must be very scared of them to keep bombarding them like this!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How is it working for u now? When u finally have adult sitting in the White House.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Just let him shoot all he want. Is just ending up in the sea anyway. Waste of money if you ask me

All Japanese hope for this ^^^. But the reality is very different, and Japan has not prepared for the worst. NK has test fired a range of missiles and strategies to test the effectiveness of an attack. Kono's retort to cancelling Aegis Ashore is to have attack capability, ie upping the ante, this is creating an additional layer of risk for Japan as perceived by NK AND other unfriendly nations. Kono's stance was mostly vote buying, not defense. Popularity does not save your people as evidence by Ukraine.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@Rodney

Interesting when the predicted NK nuclear test happens when Biden is in either SK or Japan.

in Seoul, or better yet, at DMZ.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

They might have gone off accidentally? Someone passed out due to hunger and as they slumped forward fell on the launch buttons.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Sh1mon

All Japanese hope for this

But the reality is different

Just another fool that thinks they know what all Japanese hope for.

Unless you have personally talked to all Japanese about what they hope for then you are obviously not qualified to make such a sensational announcement.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Yes, countries test their weapons so that they can be sure they work if they do actually need to use them. Just this March France did several weapons tests and it didn't make headlines, unless you like reading security journals.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

If not against the bad capitalism and the West, he very obviously needs them now also additionally against his own block ‘friends’. He knows now, if he gives up his nuclear weapons, he might be treated some better by us , but still be overrun by Russia and / or China. He’s surely learning quickly from the Ukraine war too, you know…

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Interesting when the predicted NK nuclear test happens when Biden is in either SK or Japan.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

It's not like he's test firing a nuclear warhead by dropping it on a Pacific island nation like the USA and France did.

Very good. Sometimes it's good to look in the mirror.

I wonder if people who have been mocking the dear Leader for his "Top Gun" video realize that the original "Top Gun" movie itself was funded by the CIA as pro-military propaganda. Bryan Adams was famously first choice to do the soundtrack, but he refused because he said it glorified war.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

It's not like he's test firing a nuclear warhead by dropping it on a Pacific island nation like the USA and France did.

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

Take him out already.... Put down the mad dog...

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

there is no need to worry as we have two armies on japanese soil and equipped with best? guns in the world,heavy funded by japanese taxpayers...so can sleep good.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

NK does what they want in their territory. japan attacked korea before. japan is the danger.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

So why is NK testing weapons news anyway? Other countries, including the rogue state of the USA test their weapons on a daily basis.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

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