NKorea launches 2 missiles toward sea after US-SKorea drills

Oct 7, 2022, 10:26 PM | Updated: Oct 9, 2022, 12:15 am
A TV screen showing a news program reporting about North Korea's missile launch with file footage, ...

A TV screen showing a news program reporting about North Korea's missile launch with file footage, is seen at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022. North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles toward its eastern waters on Sunday, the latest of a recent barrage of weapons tests, a day after it warned the redeployment of a U.S. aircraft carrier near the Korean Peninsula was inflaming regional tensions. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

(AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles toward its eastern waters on Sunday, the latest of a recent barrage of weapons tests, a day after it warned the redeployment of a U.S. aircraft carrier near the Korean Peninsula was inflaming regional tensions.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that it detected two missile launches Sunday between 1:48 a.m. and 1:58 a.m. from the North’s eastern coastal city of Munchon. It added that South Korea’s military has boosted its surveillance posture and maintains a readiness in close coordination with the United States.

Japanese Vice Defense Minister Toshiro Ino also confirmed the launches, saying Pyongyang’s testing activities are “absolutely unacceptable” as they threaten regional and international peace and security.

Ino said the weapons could be submarine-launched ballistic missiles. “We are continuing to analyze details of the missiles, including a possibility that they might have been launched from the sea,” Ino said.

North Korea’s pursuit of an ability to fire missiles from a submarine would constitute an alarming development for its rivals because it’s harder to detect such launches in advance. North Korea was believed to have last tested a missile launch from a submarine in May.

The South Korean and Japanese militaries assessed that the missiles flew about 350 kilometers (217 miles) and reached maximum altitudes of 90 to 100 kilometers (56 to 60 miles) before falling into the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida separately instructed officials to gather and analyze all information they could and expedite any updates about the tests to the public. His office said it also was seeking to ensure the safety of all aircraft and ships in waters around Japan while preparing for any contingencies.

South Korea’s presidential office said National Security Director Kim Sung-han called an emergency security meeting over the launches where members reviewed the South’s defense preparedness and discussed ways to strengthen cooperation with the United States and Japan to counter the growing North Korean threats.

Seoul warned that Pyongyang’s consecutive provocations will deepen its international isolation and increase the “instability of the regime” by worsening its economy and people’s livelihoods.

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement that the launches didn’t pose any immediate threat to U.S. personnel or territory, or to its allies. But it said the launches highlight “the destabilizing impact” of North Korea’s unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs. It said U.S. commitments to the defense of South Korea and Japan remain “ironclad.”

The launch, the North’s seventh round of weapons tests in two weeks, came hours after the United States and South Korea wrapped up two days of naval drills off the Korean Peninsula’s east coast.

The drills involved the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and its battle group, which returned to the area after North Korea fired a powerful missile over Japan last week to protest the carrier group’s previous training with South Korea.

On Saturday, North Korea’s Defense Ministry warned that the Reagan’s redeployment was causing a “considerably huge negative splash” in regional security. The ministry called its recent missile tests a “righteous reaction” to intimidating military drills between South Korea and the United States.

North Korea regards U.S.-South Korean military exercises as an invasion rehearsal and is especially sensitive if such drills involve U.S. strategic assets such as an aircraft carrier. North Korea has argued it was forced to pursue a nuclear weapons program to cope with U.S. nuclear threats. U.S. and South Korean officials have repeatedly said they have no intentions of attacking the North.

North Korea has launched more than 40 ballistic and cruise missiles in over 20 different events this year, exploiting a division in the U.N. Security Council deepened over Russia’s war on Ukraine as a window to speed up arms development.

The record number of tests included last week’s launch of a nuclear-capable missile that flew over Japan for the first time in five years. It was estimated to have traveled about 4,500-4,600 kilometers (2,800-2,860 miles), a distance sufficient to reach the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam and beyond.

South Korean officials say Pyongyang may up the ante soon by conducting an intercontinental ballistic missile or a nuclear test explosion, following a traditional pattern of manufacturing diplomatic crises with weapons tests and threats before offering negotiations aimed at extracting concessions. There are also concerns about provocations along the Koreas’ land and sea borders.

Sunday’s launches came on the eve of the 77th anniversary of the foundation of the North Korean ruling Workers’ Party.

Earlier this year, North Korea tested other nuclear-capable ballistic missiles that place the U.S. mainland, South Korea and Japan within striking distance.

North Korea’s testing spree indicates its leader, Kim Jong Un, has no intention of resuming diplomacy with the U.S. and wants to focus on expanding his weapons arsenal. But some experts say Kim would eventually aim to use his advanced nuclear program to wrest greater outside concessions, such as the recognition of North Korea as a legitimate nuclear state, which Kim thinks is essential in getting crippling U.N. sanctions lifted.

South Korean officials recently said North Korea was also prepared to test a new liquid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missile and a submarine-launched ballistic missile while maintaining readiness to perform its first underground nuclear test since 2017. ___ Associated Press writer Kim Tong-hyung in Seoul, South Korea, contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A woman shouts during a protest in Beijing, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022. Protesters angered by strict ant...
Associated Press

China affirms zero-COVID stance, eases rules after protests

BEIJING (AP) — Authorities eased anti-virus rules in scattered areas but affirmed China’s severe “zero- COVID” strategy Monday after crowds demanded President Xi Jinping resign during protests against controls that confine millions of people to their homes. The government made no comment on the protests or criticism of Xi, the most widespread display of opposition […]
24 hours ago
FILE - Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko talks with US President George W.Bush, at the NATO Sum...
Associated Press

14 years on, NATO to renew a vow to Ukraine

BUCHAREST (AP) — NATO returns on Tuesday to the scene of one of its most controversial decisions, intent on repeating its vow that Ukraine — now suffering through the 10th month of a war against Russia — will join the world’s biggest military alliance one day. NATO foreign ministers will gather for two days at […]
24 hours ago
This photo mad available by Ukrainian doctor Oleh Duda shows the moment when lights at a hospital w...
Associated Press

Surgeons work by flashlight as Ukraine power grid battered

KHERSON, Ukraine (AP) — Dr. Oleh Duda, a cancer surgeon at a hospital in Lviv, Ukraine, was in the middle of a complicated, dangerous surgery when he heard explosions nearby. Moments later, the lights went out. Duda had no choice but to keep working with only a headlamp for light. The lights came back when […]
24 hours ago
Sheree Perry of Virginia Beach, center, prays with chaplains at a memorial on Friday, Nov. 25, 2022...
Associated Press

City to hold vigil honoring those killed in Walmart shooting

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) — The city of Chesapeake, Virginia, has scheduled a candlelight vigil for Monday evening that will honor and remember the victims of last week’s mass shooting at a Walmart store. Six employees were killed and six people were wounded by a store supervisor late Tuesday night in the city of about 250,000 […]
24 hours ago
Associated Press

Pakistan launches new anti-polio drive amid spike in cases

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistani authorities launched a new nationwide anti-polio drive on Monday amid a spike in new cases among children, health officials said. It is the sixth such campaign this year and will last for five days, aiming to inoculate children under the age of 5 in high-risk areas. The newest drive was aimed […]
24 hours ago
FILE - Payton Gendron is led into the courtroom for a hearing at Erie County Court in Buffalo, N.Y....
Associated Press

Lawyers: Buffalo supermarket gunman plans to plead guilty

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A white gunman who targeted a Buffalo supermarket in a predominantly Black neighborhood plans to plead guilty on Monday to killing 10 people and wounding three others, according to lawyers representing victims’ relatives. Payton Gendron, 19, is scheduled to appear in Erie County Court for a hearing that was postponed for […]
24 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
NKorea launches 2 missiles toward sea after US-SKorea drills