South Korea’s military said on Wednesday that it had fired three air-to-ground missiles in the wake of missiles launched by North Korea. The missiles were fired into waters “near the Northern Limit Line at a distance corresponding to the area where the North Korean missile struck,” South Korea’s military said in a statement, adding the exercise showed that Seoul would respond “sternly to any provocations”.
South Korea’s military said that its fighter jets fired three precision-guided missiles near the rivals’ eastern border. It said that the launches were in reaction to a barrage of North Korean missile tests earlier. South Korea said that one of the North Korean missiles landed near the sea border. This is the first time ever since the peninsula’s division more than seven decades ago that North Korean missiles landed close to South Korean waters. South Korea denounced North Korea’s missile launches and called it an “intolerable” act, reported Yonhap News Agency.
Seoul on Wednesday issued an air raid alert after North Korea fired short-range missiles. The Yonhap News Agency in South Korea (Social media ) quoted an official on the island saying that employees took shelter in a basement when the air raid warning for Ulleung was broadcast on national television.
President Yoon Suk-yeol convened a meeting of the National Security Council and condemned the “unprecedented” launches, which took place amid a period of national mourning for the 156 people killed in the Itaewon crowd crush at the weekend. Sending a missile south of the NLL was “tantamount to territorial intrusion,” he was quoted as saying in a statement following the NSC meeting.
“The North Korean missile launch is very unusual and unacceptable as it fell close to South Korean territorial waters” south of the maritime border, said Kang Shin-Chul, Director of Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Earlier in the day, the North launched at least three short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) into the East Sea, one of which flew across its de facto maritime border with South Korea, according to the South’s military, reported Yonhap News Agency.
The launches came just hours after Pyongyang demanded that the United States and South Korea stop large-scale military exercises, saying such “military rashness and provocation can be no longer tolerated.” The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said the missile firing from a site in or around the North’s eastern coastal city of Wonsan was detected at around 8:51 am.
The JCS said, “North Korea’s missile launch, which marks the first time since the division of the peninsula that has landed near our territorial waters south of the Northern Limit Line, is very rare and intolerable. Our military vowed to respond firmly to this (provocation)”. Tensions are escalating in the Korean peninsula as Kim-led North Korea launched several missile tests, including one that flew over neighboring Japan this month. The United States and its allies responded with bombing drills.