US fires missiles in threatening response to North Korea’s chilling rocket tests

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US fires missiles in threatening response to North Korea’s chilling rocket tests

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said on Monday North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapons programmes have reached a level where they pose a threat to regional and world peace

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North Korea displays new missiles at military parade in April

By

Douglas PatientNews Editor

  • 03:54, 6 Jun 2022
  • UPDATED03:56, 6 Jun 2022

South Korea and the United States have fired eight surface-to-surface missiles in response to North Korea launching a barrage of short-range ballistic rockets on Sunday, a defence ministry official has said.

The action is a demonstration of “the capability and readiness to carry out precision strike” against Kim Jong-un’s nation, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency cited the military as saying.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, who took office last month, has vowed to take a tougher line against the North and agreed with US President Joe Biden at a May summit in Seoul to upgrade joint military drills and their combined deterrence posture.

The militaries of South Korea and the United States fired eight surface-to-surface missiles over about 10 minutes starting at 4.45am on Monday local time in response to the eight missiles fired by the North on Sunday, Yonhap reported.

An official from South Korea’s Defence Ministry confirmed eight Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) had been fired.

South Korea and the United States have fired eight surface-to-surface missiles

South Korea and the United States have fired eight surface-to-surface missiles ( 

Image: South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of St)

Kim Jong-un’s short-range ballistic missiles, fired toward the sea off its east coast on Sunday, were probably its largest single test and came a day after South Korea and the United States ended joint military drills.

The South Korea-US bilateral exercises involved an American aircraft carrier for the first time in more than four years.

Japan and the United States also conducted a joint military exercise on Sunday in response to the latest North Korea missile tests.

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Photos show the threatening missile tests

Photos show the threatening missile tests ( 

Image: South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of St)

North Korea, which is several weeks into battling its first known outbreak of Covid-19, has criticised previous joint drills as an example of Washington’s continued “hostile policies” toward Pyongyang, despite its talk of diplomacy.

The hermit nation has conducted a flurry of missile launches this year, from hypersonic weapons to tests of its largest intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) for the first time in nearly five years.

Yonhap, citing an unidentified source, said the North’s volley on Sunday was launched from four locations, including Sunan in the capital, Pyongyang.

The US and South Korea conducted the test in response to North Korea's strikes on Sunday

The US and South Korea conducted the test in response to North Korea’s strikes on Sunday ( 

Image: South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of St)

North Korea continued with its recent trend of not reporting on missile launches in state media, which some analysts have said is meant to show that they are doing it as part of routine military drills.

Washington and Seoul officials also recently warned that North Korea appeared ready to resume nuclear weapons tests for the first time since 2017.

Last month, North Korea fired three missiles, including one thought to be its largest ICBM, the Hwasong-17, after Biden ended an Asia trip where he agreed to new measures to deter the nuclear-armed state.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sent a congratulatory letter to the Queen

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has conducted terrifying missile tests ( 

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The combined forces of South Korea and the United States fired missiles in response to those tests too, which the two allies say are violations of UN Security Council resolutions.

Last month, the United States called for more UN sanctions on North Korea over its ballistic missile launches.

But China and Russia vetoed the suggestion, publicly splitting the UN Security Council on North Korea for the first time since it started punishing it in 2006, when North Korea conducted its first nuclear test.

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