North Korea fires its second ballistic missile this week into the Sea of ​​Japan | news today

Photograph taken on March 9, 2023 and published by the North Korean Central News Agency.

Photograph taken on March 9, 2023 and published by the North Korean Central News Agency.

Photo: AFP – STR

North Korea fired a ballistic missile over the Sea of ​​Japan on Tuesday, the South Korean military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

This is the second missile launch since Sunday by Pyongyang and coincides with the deployment of the largest joint military exercises in five years between South Korea and the United States.

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“North Korea has fired an unidentified ballistic missile into the East Sea,” the name given to the Sea of ​​Japan on the peninsula, the Seoul Joint Chiefs of Staff reported.

On Sunday morning, the isolated communist country fired two “strategic cruise missiles” from a submarine, hours before the start of military tests by Seoul and Washington.

Baptized as Escudo de Libertad, these exercises began on Monday and should last for ten days as part of the strategy of these two allied countries to counter the threat from the North.

In an unusual gesture, the South Korean military said this month that the two countries’ elite forces previously conducted simulations of precision strikes against key North installations.

The exercises launched this week will focus on the “changing security environment” linked to North Korean aggressiveness, the allies said.

These exercises “include warlike procedures to repel potential North Korean attacks and to carry out a stabilization campaign in the North,” the South Korean army said.

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He also noted that the exercise is “defensive.” However, North Korea sees such maneuvers as rehearsals for an eventual invasion and has repeatedly warned that it will respond with “overwhelming” actions.

– Prepare a “real war” –

Last year, Pyongyang declared its nuclear power status “irreversible” and fired a record number of missiles. This month, its leader Kim Jong Un ordered his military to step up exercises to prepare for a “real war.”

For its part, South Korea has reinforced joint maneuvers with the United States in the area, which sometimes included the deployment of strategic military assets of the North American power.

Analysts had expected North Korea to use its rivals’ exercises this week to practice more missile firing and even a nuclear test.

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“More missile launches with variations in style and range, including a nuclear test, should be expected,” said Chun In-bum, a retired general in the South Korean army.

It is also an opportunity for Pyongyang to show that its “reason for developing missiles is for self-defense purposes,” said Go Myong-hyun, a researcher at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul.

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