North Korea said it fired two tactical ballistic missiles

North Korea says it fired two tactical ballistic missiles

a television screen located at a train station in Seoul, South Korea plays a report on North Korea's missile launch, February 20, 2023.

Pyongyang – North Korea said today that its military fired two tactical ballistic missiles early in the morning local time, Sunday evening CET. The South Korean and Japanese authorities had previously informed about the missiles, Reuters wrote. North Korea already tested an intercontinental ballistic missile on Saturday. Today, Japan requested an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, South Korea imposed sanctions on four people and five entities.

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Pyongyang fired two very short-range missiles, aimed at targets 395 kilometers and 337 kilometers away, North Korea's KCNA news agency said. According to her, the missiles are capable of carrying tactical nuclear warheads that can “cripple” enemy airfields.

The Japanese Ministry of Defense said that the DPRK fired two ballistic missiles around 23:00 CET on Sunday. According to him, they reached a height of about 100 and 50 kilometers and traveled a distance of about 350 to 400 kilometers before impact outside Japan's exclusive economic zone. The South Korean military also recorded two missiles that it said were fired by the DPRK from a city on the west coast, north of the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said today that he has asked the UN Security Council for an emergency meeting due to today's incident. According to the Japanese media, the meeting was scheduled for today at 21:00 CET.

Hours after the missile launch, South Korea's Foreign Ministry announced that Seoul was imposing unilateral sanctions on four individuals and five entities linked to Pyongyang's weapons programs. According to diplomacy, this is the fastest response to provocations by the DPRK so far. The AP agency noted that such actions are largely symbolic, as the countries do not maintain trade relations with each other.

No damage to aircraft or vessels has been reported in connection with the launch of the missiles. The Japanese ministry said in a statement that it would continue to collect and analyze information in close cooperation with the United States. According to him, the DPRK “threatens the peace and security of Japan, the region and the international community”.

Kim Yo-jong, the influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, has previously said that the DPRK has satisfactory missile technology and capabilities. According to her, Pyongyang is also carefully examining the increased presence of American strategic forces in the region. It promised countermeasures if necessary.

On Saturday, North Korea tested the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile, according to its KCNA news agency. The missile rose to a height of 5768 kilometers and flew to a distance of 989 kilometers. Data from the test show the weapon would theoretically be capable of reaching the mainland United States, the AP agency wrote.

On Friday, North Korea threatened an “unprecedentedly” tough response if South Korea and the United States carry out a planned series of military exercises. The first exercise should take place this week, with more to follow in the coming weeks and months. Already on Sunday, however, the US and South Korea held air force exercises in response to the launch of the Hwasong-15 missile. Subsequently, a joint exercise of the US and Japanese air forces also took place, the Ministry of Defense announced in Tokyo.