US, South Korea test-fire missiles in response to North Korea

5 October, 2022 | Pragati Singh

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On Wednesday morning, the United States and South Korea fired four missiles off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula in retaliation to North Korea's provocative test launch of a ballistic missile...

On Wednesday morning, the United States and South Korea fired four missiles off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula in retaliation to North Korea’s provocative test launch of a ballistic missile over Japan.

This was the allies’ second practise in less than a day, following North Korea’s firing of a ballistic missile over Japan on Tuesday morning, according to CNN. Earlier on Tuesday, the United States and South Korea replied to the launch with a precise bombing drill in which a South Korean F-15K fighter aircraft fired two air-to-surface munitions at a simulated target on a firing range west of the Korean Peninsula, according to the South Korean joint chiefs.

“Through the combined flight of the air strike package and precision strike drills, South Korea and the United States demonstrated their will to respond sternly to any Northern threats as well as their capabilities to conduct a precision strike at the origin of provocations based on the alliance’s overwhelming forces,” the JCS said in a press release.

The allies typically respond to missile tests by North Korea with military exercises, according to CNN. According to CNN citing South Korean joint chiefs, in Wednesday’s launch, four ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile Systems) missiles were involved. The ATACMS are surface-to-surface missiles that can fly around 200 miles (320 kilometres).

According to John Kirby, the National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, the launch was designed to demonstrate that the US and their allies have “the military capabilities at the ready to respond to provocations by the North.”

“This is not the first time we’ve done this in response to provocations by the North to make sure that we can demonstrate our own capabilities,” Kirby as quoted by CNN.

“We want to see the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, (North Korean leader Kim Jong Un) hasn’t shown an inclination to move in that direction, quite frankly he’s moving in the opposite direction by continuing to conduct these missile tests which are violations of Security Council resolutions,” he added.

The missile launch on Tuesday was the first in years, prompting a warning for civilians in northern Japan to seek shelter.

North Korea launched missiles last week in apparent protest of joint naval exercises involving the United States and South Korea. North Korea has launched a record number of missiles this year as it builds its military stockpile under Kim Jong-rule. un’s