N. Korea fires ballistic missiles as Summit for Democracy kicks off in Seoul

Posted on : 2024-03-19 16:36 KST Modified on : 2024-03-19 16:36 KST
Some speculate that the launches could have been made with the arrival of US State Secretary Antony Blinken’s arrival in Seoul in mind
North Korea fires off a short-range missile during military exercises in October 2022. (KCNA/Yonhap)
North Korea fires off a short-range missile during military exercises in October 2022. (KCNA/Yonhap)


North Korea has made another show of force with its first missile launch in a month.

“We detected multiple flying objects that are presumed to be short-range ballistic missiles being launched from the area around Pyongyang toward the East Sea between 7:44 and 8:22 this morning. The North Korean missiles fell into the East Sea after flying for 300km,” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Monday.

Japan’s Ministry of Defense said that North Korea had launched two projectiles that were presumed to be ballistic missiles and that both of the projectiles had fallen into Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff also said they had detected the North Korean missiles immediately after launch and proceeded to track and monitor them. The Joint Chiefs said they shared information related to the North Korean ballistic missiles with the American and Japanese authorities and are carrying out a full analysis of the detailed data, including speed and altitude.

This missile launch was North Korea’s first in over a month since it launched its new Padasuri-6 surface-to-ship cruise missile in waters northeast of Wonsan on Feb. 14. It was also the second ballistic missile that North Korea has launched this year following a medium-range ballistic missile launched on Jan. 14.

North Korea is banned from testing ballistic missiles by a UN Security Council resolution.

South Korea and the US’ main Freedom Shield exercises, which ran from March 4 to 14, are over, but various joint exercises between the two countries are expected to continue through the end of the month.

Some see North Korea’s missile launch as being motivated by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s arrival in Seoul on Sunday to attend the third Summit for Democracy on Monday.

By Kwon Hyuk-chul, staff reporter

Please direct questions or comments to [english@hani.co.kr]

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