N. Korea Fires Missiles, Artillery after S. Korea, US Extend Air Drills
North Korea launched three more ballistic missiles and fired artillery rounds on Thursday evening after a top North Korean military official denounced South Korea and the U.S. for extending their combined Vigilant Storm air exercise.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff(JCS) said that it detected three short-range ballistic missiles fired from the area of Koksan County in North Hwanghae Province toward the East Sea from 9:35 p.m. to 9:49 p.m.
The JCS said the missiles traveled about 490 kilometers at a speed of Mach Six with an altitude of 130 kilometers, adding that the intelligence authorities of South Korea and the U.S. are working on a detailed analysis of the launch.
About one hour and 40 minutes later, North Korea fired some 80 artillery shells from around 11:30 p.m. into the military buffer zone in the East Sea in violation of the 2018 inter-Korean military agreement, according to the JCS.
The latest provocation came right after Pak Jong-chon, vice chairman of the Central Military Committee of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party, denounced the allies' decision to extend their air exercise as an "awful mistake and dangerous choice."
South Korea and the U.S. decided earlier on Thursday to extend their aerial exercise involving 240 aircraft after agreeing on the need to jointly demonstrate a solid combined defense posture in the face of North Korea’s increased provocations.
[Photo : YONHAP News]