North Korea fires two ballistic missiles, bangs hit UN

North Korea fires two ballistic missiles, bangs hit UN


North Korea launched two ballistic missiles on Thursday, Seoul’s military said, as the UN Security Council met to discuss Pyongyang’s earlier, highly provocative missile launch over Japan.

The launch is Pyongyang’s sixth in less than two weeks and comes two days after a medium-range ballistic missile was launched over Japan, prompting Tokyo to issue a rare evacuation warning.

The South Korean military said it had spotted two short-range ballistic missiles being fired from the Samsok area of ??Pyongyang toward the East Sea, also known as the Sea of ??Japan.

“Our military has increased surveillance and surveillance and, in coordination with the United States, maintains the greatest preparedness,” the Seoul chiefs of staff said in a statement.

The Japan Coast Guard also confirmed the launch of two potential ballistic missiles, with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida telling reporters the recent test spate was “unacceptable”.

“Even in this short time since late September, this is the sixth time. This is absolutely unacceptable,” he said.

Pyongyang’s test Tuesday of what officials and analysts said was an Hwasong-12, which likely covered the longest horizontal distance of any North Korean test before, prompting the United States to call an emergency Security Council meeting.

But North Korea’s longtime ally and economic benefactor Beijing accused Washington of provoking the spate of launches by Kim Jong Un’s regime.

Chinese Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Geng Shuang said North Korea’s recent launches are “closely related” to military exercises in the region being conducted by the United States and its allies.

Geng accused the US of “poisoning the regional security environment,” he told the council.

Seoul, Tokyo and Washington have intensified joint military exercises in recent weeks, including large-scale naval maneuvers and anti-submarine drills.

America said Wednesday it would be moving the nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan to the Korean Peninsula for a second visit in less than a month.

North Korea’s foreign ministry issued a statement on Thursday criticizing the UN Security Council meeting and accusing the US of “posing a serious threat to the stability of the situation on the Korean peninsula” by relocating the aircraft carrier.

– ‘Bad Deeds’ –

The launches are part of a record year of weapons tests by isolated North Korea, which has declared leader Kim Jong Un an “irreversible” nuclear power, effectively ending the possibility of denuclearization talks.

The US request for the meeting was backed by Britain, France, Albania, Norway and Ireland.

“This is a clear attempt by China and Russia to reward the DPRK for its bad deeds,” said Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US Ambassador to the United Nations.

“We must move quickly to strengthening the sanctions regime of 1718 without considering lifting the sanctions,” she added.

China and Russia in May vetoed a US Security Council resolution imposing new penalties on North Korea after the body unanimously passed severe sanctions in 2017.

The council was divided for months responding to Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions, with Russia and China on the sympathetic side and the rest of the council pushing for punishment.

Analysts say Pyongyang has used the opportunity of the UN standoff to conduct increasingly provocative weapons tests.

Officials in Seoul and Washington have been warning for months that Pyongyang is likely to conduct another nuclear test after China’s Oct. 16 party convention.

“At this point, it would seem counterproductive for Kim to turn back and stop the provocations, not to mention the amount of resources wasted conducting these weapons tests,” Soo Kim, an analyst at RAND Corporation, told AFP.

“We are indeed in a cycle of gun provocations. What essentially remains is an ICBM test and possibly the long-awaited seventh nuclear test.”

More to explorer