June 17, 2024

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North Korea has launched two missiles to mark the anniversary of the end of the war

North Korea has launched two missiles to mark the anniversary of the end of the war

According to Seoul, North Korea fired two ballistic missiles overnight, in its first overseas visit since the pandemic, shortly before celebrations to commemorate the end of the inter-Korean standoff attended by Chinese dignitaries.

The South Korean military says, “At 11:55pm on July 24 and midnight on July 25, North Korea detected two ballistic missiles fired from areas near Pyongyang towards the East Sea (also known as the Sea of ​​Japan), South Korean agency Yohab quoted South Korean agency Yohab as saying.

According to the South Korean Defense Ministry, cited by Yonhap and Japanese agency Kyodo, the two missiles traveled about 400 km before falling into the sea.

The White House condemned these new “ballistic missile strikes.”

The missile tests “pose a threat to the DPRK’s neighbors and the international community,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said, using the official name for Pyongyang, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

“Our commitment to the security of Korea and the Republic of Japan remains unchanged,” he added, this time referring to South Korea.

Earlier, Japan announced the first launch, which fell into the sea outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), state broadcaster NHK reported, citing government officials.

Pyongyang continues to conduct missile tests. On Saturday, “multiple cruise missiles” were fired into the Yellow Sea between the Korean Peninsula and China.

A US nuclear submarine docked in South Korea last week, with Pyongyang saying the move could come under “terms of use” of its own nuclear weapons.

Seoul responded to these threats by reaffirming that such an attack would trigger a response that would lead to the “end” of Kim Jong Un’s regime.

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And a second U.S. submarine, the nuclear-powered USS Annapolis, arrived at a South Korean naval base around the time the new missile was launched, Yonhap reported.

In mid-July, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un personally oversaw the launch of the country’s new intercontinental ballistic missile, the solid-fuel Hwasong-18.

The firing of these last two ballistic missiles comes early Tuesday, just before North Korea celebrates the 70th anniversary of the end of fighting in the Korean War (1950-1953).

A Chinese delegation led by Politburo member Li Hongzhong is to visit North Korea on this occasion, the official North Korean news agency KCNA said, marking the first visit by a foreign delegation since North Korea closed its borders in early 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Relations between the two Koreas are currently at an all-time low, with diplomacy stalled and Kim Jong Un calling for an accelerated arms race, including tactical nuclear weapons.

In response, Seoul and Washington held joint military exercises, drawing Pyongyang’s ire.

Separately, US player Travis King, who entered North Korea illegally on July 18, is believed to be currently being held in North Korea.

“Discussions” have begun between the United Nations and Pyongyang regarding the treaty that ended hostilities from the 1953 Korean War, according to UN chief General Andrew Harrison, “through a ceasefire mechanism.”

After the 1950-1953 war, which ended in an armistice without a peace treaty, the two Koreas are still officially at war.