The regime responds to the start of joint military exercises between the US and South Korea: "compelled to develop, test and deploy the powerful physical means essential for national defence". Fears for the continuation of negotiations.
Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - In the early hours this morning North Korea launched two missiles in the Eastern Sea. Today is the fourth missile test in 12 days, but Pyongyang threatens to carry out more in the near future. The latest round of North Korean rocket launches follows the start of joint military exercises between the US and South Korea, scheduled to assess Seoul's ability to take operational control in the event of war. The increase in tensions in the peninsula threatens to derail the negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington: the regime says that the maneuvers are a "flagrant violation" of the process.
North Korea has always protested against the military exercises of the two allies - seen as evidence for an invasion - but in the past it tended to avoid missile tests while they were in progress. The speed with which Pyongyang has released an official statement, within an hour of the launch, is also unusual: normally, such communication is expected the next day. Through the official news agency, the spokesman of the Foreign Ministry said: "We are compelled to develop, test and deploy the powerful physical means essential for national defence. The US and South Korean authorities cannot oppose this ".
Meanwhile, experts from the Joint Command (JCS) of the South Korean Armed Forces released some details about the last test in Pyongyang: the regime fired two bullets in the East Sea believed to be short-range ballistic missiles. These were launched at 5:24 am and 5:36 am from the southwestern county of Kwail, in the province of South Hwanghae. Both flew for about 450 kilometers across the peninsula, before crashing into the water. According to the Jcs, their maximum altitude was about 37 km and the speed was almost 6.9 Mach.