Just days after firing a ballistic missile over Japan, North Korea has once again fired missiles.
According to the Yonhap News Agency, which cited South Korea’s military command, the missile tests came after a U.S. aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan, was deployed to the region. The carrier had been in the East Sea for military exercises and returned following the previous missile launch.
CNN reported that the missiles were short-range ballistic missiles, which were launched from the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. After the launch, the United States, Japan, and South Korea went ahead with planned military exercises.
“While strengthening our monitoring and vigilance, our military is maintaining a full readiness posture in close cooperation with the United States,” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.
The launches bring the total number of missile tests by North Korea this year to twenty-four, which is the largest total since Kim Jong-un came to power in 2012.
“This exercise enhances the interoperability of our collective forces and demonstrates the strength of the trilateral relationship with our Japan and Republic of Korea (ROK) allies, which is forward-leaning, reflective of our shared values, and resolute against those who challenge regional stability,” U.S. Pacific Command said in a statement.
According to NK News, nine out of the fifteen members of the U.N. Security Council condemned the missile test that flew over Japan, although Russia and China blocked an official condemnation by the full UNSC.
“The United States, Albania, Brazil, France, India, Ireland, Japan, Norway, the Republic of Korea, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom, strongly condemn the DPRK’s long-range ballistic missile launch which overflew Japan on October 4 and its seven other ballistic missile launches conducted since September 25. The DPRK has now launched over 35 ballistic missiles this year alone,” the countries said in a statement.
“These launches violate multiple Security Council resolutions and pose a threat to not only the region but to the entire international community.”
The CNN report also cited North Korean state media’s statement on the events.
“The DPRK is watching the US posing a serious threat to the stability of the situation on the Korean peninsula and in its vicinity by redeploying the carrier task force in the waters off the Korean peninsula,” the North Korean Foreign Ministry said.
Also this week, according to Yonhap, twelve North Korean warplanes were seen flying in formation and “presumably conducted a firing exercise.” The flight took place just north of the inter-Korean air boundary, leading South Korean jets to be deployed to the area.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.