Lazy eyes listen
The South Korean military said it detected the North’s launch of two short-range ballistic missiles early Tuesday. The latest display of force by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) occurred on the same day that Washington and Seoul began major joint military exercises on the Korean Peninsula.
Pyongyang has repeatedly stated that the drills are nothing more than a rehearsal for an attack on its territory.
According to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, the rockets launched from the southwestern Jangyon area traveled 620 kilometers before landing in the sea off the east coast.
The launches were condemned by Seoul’s military as “significant provocation that harms peace and stability not only on the Korean Peninsula, but also in the international community.” According to the Yonhap report, Seoul will keep a close eye on its neighbor for any signs of “additional provocations.”
Pyongyang’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Monday that the country had launched cruise missiles from a submarine the day before, in what is believed to be the North’s first such test.
According to KCNA, the successful test-firing “confirmed the weapon’s reliability.” The exercise, according to the outlet, demonstrated the DPRK’s progress in ensuring it has “different” delivery options for its “nuclear war deterrence means.”
The latest launches come amid massive US-South Korean military drills codenamed Freedom Shield, which began on Monday. The two allies cited the North’s growing threat, which fired a record number of missiles in 2022.
The ongoing drills follow joint exercises earlier this year, some of which included US B-52H strategic bombers.
The DPRK had repeatedly warned Washington and Seoul not to hold the drills, accusing them of practicing for an invasion of the North.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called on his military last Thursday to be ready to engage in “real” combat “at any time,” according to KCNA.