North Korea launched a short-range ballistic missile into the ocean off its east coast on Friday, according to the military of South Korea, the most recent in a string of launches by the nuclear-armed nation amid rising tensions.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) of South Korea said North Korea fired about 170 rounds of artillery into “sea buffer zones” off its east and west coasts while South Korea also sent fighter jets into action when a group of about 10 North Korean military aircraft flew dangerously close to their heavily fortified border.
The North’s actions were denounced by South Korea’s National Security Council (NSC) as a violation of a 2018 bilateral military agreement that forbids “hostile conduct” in the border region.
Seoul imposed the first retaliatory measures against Pyongyang in almost five years with the contrast of 16 institutions and 15 North Koreans to a blacklist.
North Korea was warned by the JCS to quit inciting unrest and heightening tension.
Yoon Suk-yeol, president of South Korea, said Pyongyang has been “indiscriminately carrying out provocations” and promised to come up with “watertight countermeasures.”Early on Friday morning, the North Korean military announced that it had responded to South Korea’s artillery firing on Thursday by taking “powerful military countermeasures.”
The firing was a “normal, legitimate” practise, according to South Korea’s NSC.North Korea’s unusually frequent missile launches have sparked worries that it may be getting ready to restart nuclear bomb testing for the first time since 2017. Before the important ruling Communist Party session in neighbouring China closes on October 16, according to some commentators, there won’t be any testing.