North Korea fires 23 missiles, one landing off South Korean coast for first time

  • Several missiles were launched into the sea, S.Korea’s military said
  • One landed south of the disputed inter-Korean maritime border
  • S.Korea president promises N.Korea will ‘pay the price’
  • N. Korea calls the military contest ‘provocative’

SEOUL, Nov 2 (Reuters) – North Korea fired at least 23 missiles into the sea on Wednesday, including one that landed less than 60 km (40 miles) off the Korean coast. South Korea, which President Yoon Suk-yeol described as “a territory. defense”.

It was the first time a missile had landed near the South’s waters since the peninsula was divided in 1945, and most of the missiles were fired by the North in a day. South Korea has issued rare weather warnings and launched its ballistic missiles.

The missile landed outside South Korea’s territorial waters, but south of the Northern Limit Line (NLL), the disputed Korean maritime border.

South Korea’s military fired three surface-to-air missiles into the North Sea over the NLL in response, the South’s military said. An official said the weapons used included the AGM-84H/K SLAM-ER, an American-made “stand-off” precision weapon that can fly up to 270 km (170 miles) with a 360 -kg (800. -lb) head.

South’s announcement came after Yoon’s office promised to “be quick and responsive.”

“President Yoon Suk-yeol noted that North Korea’s aggression today is an effective way of entering the territory through ballistic missiles entering the NLL for the first time since ( two Koreas) divided,” his office said in a statement.

When asked if the missile flew to the southern territory and should be intercepted, the senior president said: “Strictly speaking, it did not land in our territory but in the Exclusive Economic Zone in our jurisdiction, so it is not subject to interference.”

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The missile was one of three short-range missiles fired from the North Korean coast of Wonsan into the sea, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS ) has said. The JCS later said that as many as 14 other missiles of various types had been fired from North Korea’s east and west coasts.

The JCS said at least one missile landed 26 km south of the NLL, 57 km from the South Korean city of Sokcho, on the east coast, and 167 km from the island of Ulleung, where the cloud the wind warning sounded.

“We heard the siren at around 8:55 a.m. and all of us in the building went down to the basement to escape,” Ulleung city manager told Reuters. . “We stayed there until we came forward at 9:15 after hearing that the projectile fell into the high seas.”

The North has also fired more than 100 missiles from its eastern coast into the demilitarized zone established by a military pact with the South, South Korea South Korean soldiers said.

The fire breaks a 2018 agreement to stop cross-border terrorism, the JCS said.

North and South Korea are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

Nuclear-armed North Korea has tested several ballistic missiles this year, and officials in Seoul and Washington say the North is making progress on plans to conduct its first nuclear weapons test since 2017.

North Korea continues to test ballistic missiles despite several United Nations Security Council resolutions that ban all ballistic and nuclear tests by the country.

The announcement came just hours after Pyongyang called on the United States and South Korea to stop large-scale military action, saying “military action and violence can no longer be tolerated”. .

Although Yoon declared a week of national mourning after more than 150 people were killed in the weekend’s mass protests in Seoul, the United States and South Korea began one of their own. the largest military force on Monday. Dubbed Vigilant Storm, the exercise involves hundreds of warplanes from both sides conducting taunts 24 hours a day. read more


North Korea, which for years has been pursuing missile and nuclear programs in defiance of UN sanctions, said the latest attack was a response to the alliance.

Pak Jong Chon, secretary of the Central Committee of the North Korean Workers’ Party, said in a statement on Wednesday that the number of warplanes involved in the Vigilant Storm has been thrown first that the exercise is “aggressive and provocative” and specifically aimed at North Korea. It is said that even its name follows the US-led Operation Desert Storm against Iraq in the 1990s.

Pak said in a statement published by the state news agency KCNA that “The military’s unrepentant attack on the armed forces has created a serious situation in South Korea.”

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On Tuesday in Washington, US Secretary of State Ned Price said that the drills were “purely preventive” and that the United States had made it clear to North Korea that it had no recourse. lest.

Price added that the United States and its allies have also made it clear that there will be “heavy and significant costs” if North Korea resumes nuclear tests. It was not explained.


South Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said that due to the announcement, some air routes across the sea between North Korea and Japan will be closed until Thursday.

Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said the government believed at least two missiles had been launched by North Korea, one to the east and the other to the southeast. come

The first flew 150 km to a maximum altitude of about 150 km, while the second covered an area of ​​200 km to a maximum altitude of 100 km, he told reporters in Tokyo on on Wednesday morning.

Reuters Graphics

North Korea’s threats to the peace and security of Japan, the wider region, as well as the international community, Hamada said.

Directed by Soo-hyang Choi, Choonsik Yoo and Josh Smith; Additional reporting by David Brunnstrom in Washington and Sakura Murakami in Tokyo; Edited by Raju Gopalakrishnan, Nick Macfie and Alex Richardson

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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