Seoul retaliates by launching 3 missiles into North Korean waters

Update 1: Adds South Korea retaliation, changes headline

Seoul, Nov 2 (EFE).- South Korea launched three air-to-ground precision missiles Wednesday into North Korean waters in response to launches by North Korea, which fired more than 10 missiles earlier in the day, one of the which fell into southern waters, something previously unseen.

The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that F-15 and F-16 fighter planes fired these precision missiles “into the open sea in waters north of the Northern Limit Line,” a division separating the waters of both Koreas, to “respond to the provocation,” in what is also the first time that missiles from Seoul have landed in territorial waters of the neighboring country.

A high-ranking South Korean military official confirmed that the North Korean ballistic missile that crashed into the water Wednesday 57 kilometers from the southern coast is the first Pyongyang projectile to fall in South Korean territorial waters.

The event contributes to enormously increasing the tension already felt in the peninsula between the two countries.

“It is the first time since the division (of the peninsula) that a North Korean launch falls in our territorial waters south of the (Northern Limit Line),” Lt. Gen. Kang Shin-chul, Joint Chiefs of Staff operation chief, said in a statement sent to the media.

Kang said this action is “absolutely unacceptable” and that “the (South Korean) military has determined that it will respond resolutely to it.”

Seoul initially detected the launch of three short-range ballistic missiles fired from the Wonsan area on North Korea’s east coast into the Sea of ​​Japan at about 8:51 am (23:51 GMT Tuesday.)

“One of them landed on the high seas south of the Northern Limit Line in the East Sea,” authorities reported, adding that this projectile fell 26 kilometers south of the line, 57 kilometers east of the coastal city of Sokcho and 167 kilometers northwest of Ulleung Island.

An anti-aircraft alert was issued for Ulleung Island, apparently because the missile appeared to be aimed there, although authorities said “details are still being confirmed.”

Shortly after, the JCS reported that Pyongyang fired 10 different types of missiles Wednesday.

The South Korean president, Yoon Suk-yeol, convened an emergency meeting of the National Security Council after the launches, and said there would be a quick response and urged to “prepare for more provocations” from the regime of Kim Jong Un.

This launch, North Korea’s record 36th this year, coincides with the celebration of the first large-scale aerial maneuvers by South Korea and United States Air Forces.

The tension on the peninsula has increased to dangerous levels in recent months, given the insistent northern launches, the maneuvers of the allies and the possibility that Pyongyang will carry out its first nuclear test in five years, as shown by satellites. EFE


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