North Korea fires missiles after failed satellite launch: State Media

North Korea fires short-range missiles after failed satellite launch, threatens US and South Korea.

Livemint
First Published31 Aug 2023
A tactical nuclear strike drill in Pyongyang, North Korea Wednesday.
A tactical nuclear strike drill in Pyongyang, North Korea Wednesday.(AP)

North Korea has fired two short-range ballistic missiles after it failed to put a spy satellite into orbit, state media reported Thursday.

The launches came hours after the US deployed B-1B bombers for combined air drills with South Korea and a day before the allies wrapped up their annual Ulchi Freedom Shield exercises, which always infuriate Pyongyang.

Two short-range ballistic missiles were fired from an area near Pyongyang’s main international airport toward waters off its east coast.

The missiles flew about 360 kilometers (225 miles). The North's army said the missiles were fired late Wednesday in a "tactical nuclear strike drill simulating scorched earth strikes at major command centers and operational airfields" across the border in South Korea.

"The drill is aimed to send a clear message to the enemies," it added.

Pyongyang also issued a threat to the US and South Korea, saying it was ready to punish them for “rash acts” and the US’s deployment of nuclear assets to the region.

North Korea has conducted a record number of weapons tests this year, and last week carried out its second failed attempt to put a spy satellite into orbit. It had already fired 26 ballistic missiles and two space rockets so far this year

Seoul and Washington have ramped up defence cooperation in response, staging joint military exercises with advanced stealth jets and US strategic assets.

On Tuesday, the United States, South Korea, and Japan held a trilateral naval missile defence exercise, their fourth such training this year.

Relations between the two Koreas are at their lowest point in years, and diplomacy is stalled after failed attempts to discuss Pyongyang's denuclearisation.

Kim has declared North Korea an "irreversible" nuclear power and called for ramped-up arms production, including tactical nuclear weapons. He has ignored US calls to return to long-stalled nuclear disarmament talks. But he has been busy modernizing his arsenal of missiles and conducting tests of systems to attack South Korea and Japan, which host the bulk of US military personnel in the region.

(With agencies input)

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