North Korea fired more than ten missiles on Wednesday, including one that landed very close to South Korea, whose president Yoon Suk-yeol denounced it as “in fact a territorial invasion.” This flurry of gunfire also prompted South Korean authorities to launch a rare airstrike alert on the island of Ulleungdo (east) and to ask its inhabitants to take refuge in underground bunkers.
According to the South Korean military, one of the projectiles launched by Pyongyang crossed the northern boundary linethe disputed maritime border between the two countries, and fell near the territorial waters of the South.
LOOK: South Korea confirms this is the first time a North Korean missile has landed in its waters
In a statement, the South Korean president assured that this “in fact constitutes a territorial invasion with a missile that crossed the northern limit line for the first time since the division” of the peninsula, after the Second World War.
The army said the closest missile fell into the sea just 57 kilometers east of the US mainland. South Koreawho described this release as “highly unusual and intolerable.”
LOOK: Alert on South Korean island of Ulleung due to North Korean missile launch
In response to these actions, The South Korean military fired three air-to-surface missiles near the point where the controversial North Korean projectile landed.
These missiles fell “near the northern limit line at a distance corresponding to the area where the North missile hit”, he said in a statement.
The South Korean military had initially reported three short-range ballistic missiles, but later said Pyongyang had fired more than ten missiles of various types.
The South Korean president called a meeting of his National Security Council to discuss the shooting that, for researchers like Cheong Seong-chang of the Sejong Institute, is the “most aggressive and threatening armed demonstration against the South since 2010.”
This latest shot comes amidst the largest joint maneuvers ever carried out by South Korea and the United States, baptized “Storm Watcher”, involving hundreds of warplanes from both sides.
Pak Jong Chon, a senior officer of North Koreasaid these exercises were aggressive and provocative, according to a report in state media on Wednesday.
Pak said that the name of the maneuvers is reminiscent of the operation Desert Stormthe US offensive on Iraq in 1990-1991 in response to the invasion of Kuwait.
“If the United States and South Korea intend to use armed forces against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea without fear, the special means of the DPRK armed forces will deploy their strategic mission without delay,” said.
“The United States and South Korea will face a terrible situation and will pay the most horrible price in history,” he added.
In March 2010, a North Korean submarine torpedoed a South Korean ship, killing 46 crew members, 16 of whom were on their mandatory military service.
In November of that same year, Pyongyang bombed a South Korean border island, killing two young Marines.
The isolated communist country, endowed with nuclear capacity, has carried out a record series of weapons tests this year and, according to Seoul and Washington, is preparing a new nuclear test, which would be the first since 2017.
On your part, United States and South Korea intensified their military maneuvers in the area, to which Japan sometimes joins.
The current air exercises were preceded by 12 days of amphibious naval exercises.
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