Seoul, South Korea ( Associated Press) – North Korea fired three short-range ballistic missiles toward the sea on Thursday, South Korea’s military said in the latest of a series of weapons demonstrations. This year that came just hours after he confirmed his first case of coronavirus Ever since the pandemic started.
The launch rallied behind North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, to step up his efforts to expand his arsenal despite the virus outbreak and remains determined to keep pressure on his rivals amid long-dormant nuclear diplomacy. Can outline resolution.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that three missiles launched from the north’s capital region on Thursday afternoon flew toward the waters off the country’s east coast.
It said South Korea’s military has increased its preparedness and surveillance while maintaining close coordination with the United States.
Japan also detected North Korean launches.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida instructed officials to do everything possible to analyze the launch, ensure the safety of aircraft and ships in the area, and take precautions and prepare for any potential emergency, according to his office.
The Japanese Coast Guard said a possible North Korean ballistic missile was believed to have landed at sea. It urged ships around Japanese shores to keep an eye on falling objects and to report it to the authorities.
Earlier on Thursday, North Korean state media confirmed the country’s first COVID-19 infection since Kim ordered a nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of the virus. Kim also ordered officials to strengthen the country’s defense posture to avoid any security vacuum.
In recent months, North Korea has launched a test-launch of missiles that experts call an attempt to modernize its weapons and has accused the United States and its allies of accepting it as a nuclear state and easing sanctions on the North. exert pressure. Some observers say that despite advanced anti-virus steps, North Korea will continue testing its weapons at home to try to boost public morale and bolster loyalty to the Kim leadership.
Thursday’s launch was the North’s first weapon since the inauguration of new conservative South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol. on Tuesday. Yoon’s office said his national security adviser Kim Sung-han was planning to convene a meeting to discuss the launches.
North Korea has a history of expelling new governments in an apparent bid to boost its bargaining chips in future talks in Seoul and Washington. North Korea’s nuclear threat will likely top the agenda when Yun meets with US President Joe Biden in Seoul next week.
Recently tested North Korean weapons include a variety of nuclear-capable missiles that could potentially reach South Korea, Japan or the mainland US.
Last Saturday, South Korea explored the possibility of a North Korean ballistic missile launch from a submarine in its first underwater weapons test since last October. There are also signs the North is preparing to conduct its first nuclear test in nearly five years at a remote test ground in its northeast.