North Korea fires missiles, flies warplanes as it blames US for ‘escalation’

By DefenceTalk

An unidentified rocket is displayed during a military parade marking the 105th anniversary of the birth of late North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung in Pyongyang on April 15, 2017.

North Korea fired two ballistic missiles Thursday and flew warplanes, while claiming its recent blitz of sanctions-busting tests were necessary countermeasures against joint military drills by the United States and South Korea.

As the United Nations Security Council met to discuss Pyongyang’s Tuesday launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan, North Korea blamed Washington for “escalating the military tensions on the Korean peninsula”.

The recent launches — six in less than two weeks — were “the just counteraction measures of the Korean People’s Army”, Pyongyang’s foreign ministry said in a statement Thursday.

Seoul, Tokyo and Washington have ramped up joint military drills in recent weeks, and carried out fresh exercises Thursday involving a US navy destroyer from the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier’s strike group.

The United States redeployed the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to waters east of South Korea as part of a broad-ranging military response to Pyongyang’s Tuesday test, which also included joint bombing and missile drills.

The carrier’s redeployment prompted an angry response from the North, with the foreign ministry saying it posed “a serious threat to the stability of the situation on the Korean peninsula”.

Seoul’s military said it had scrambled 30 fighter jets Thursday after 12 North Korean warplanes staged a rare “formation flight north of the inter-Korean air boundary [and] conducted air-to-surface firing drills.”

Early on Thursday, South Korea’s military said it had detected two short-range ballistic missiles launched from the Samsok area in Pyongyang towards the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan.

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About Cholo Brooks 13046 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.

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