According to Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, North Korea fired four ballistic missiles, and three of those landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone. The missiles were fired at the same time that both South Korea and the U.S were holding joint military exercises.
The launching of the missiles took place early this morning and appeared to have been initiated from the Tongchang-ri region, where a missile base is located. They flew over 620 miles, according to South Korea military officials. Mr. Abe addressed parliament questions regarding the strikes, and stated, “The launches are clearly in violation of Security Council resolutions. It is an extremely dangerous action.”
The military exercises being executed by both the U.S and South Korea are referred to as the Foal Eagle, which has been reported to be defensive exercises. However, North Korea has already voiced opinions against the exercises through the state-run media known as KCNA.
“Now that the US imperialists and the South Korean puppet forces again kicked off the dangerous nuclear war drills against the DPRK at its doorstep, our army will counter them with the toughest counteractions,” it said.
And it isn’t out of the ordinary for such exercises to be frowned upon by Pyongyang. They had previously threatened to take “strong retaliatory measures” after the exercises began. They have protested the annual drills by referring to them as preparation for war.
Just last year, they fired a long-range rocket from Tongchang-ri, which put an object into orbit. It was later condemned by the U.N due to violated resolutions which have barred the use of such technology.
As a response to the launch, South Korea’s president Hwang Kyo-Ahm held an emergency National Security Council meeting. President Donald Trump has responded by describing the North as a “big, big problem” and promised to deal with the issue “very strongly.” As it stands, no retaliation measures have been launched, however, this could become the beginning steps of a military endeavor. For now, we will just have to sit back and wait.