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N. Korea fires missile 30 minutes before ROK-US joint drill

N. Korea fires missile 30 minutes before ROK-US joint drill

Posted March. 28, 2023 08:08,   

Updated March. 28, 2023 08:09


North Korea fired two short-distance ballistic missiles capable of targeting the entire Korean peninsula on Monday, five days after it claimed to have performed a mock nuclear warhead explosion test by firing a strategic cruise missile targeting the South and the U.S. base in Japan. The second missile was fired 30 minutes before the joint South Korea-U.S. Military Drill started in the southern part of Jeju, with the U.S. arriving with world-class naval forces including Nimitz aircraft carrier (CVN-68, around 100,000 tons) and AEGIS.

“Two short-term ballistic missiles fired from Joongwha of North Hwanghae Province to the East Sea from 7:47 to 8:00 a.m. were identified,” said the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The missiles flew around 370 kilometers and landed in the East Sea.

Military authorities say that the missile is likely to be KN-23, which North Korea claimed to use at the nuclear fire mock test that was performed 800 meters in mid-air on March 19. The maximum flight range of KN-23 is 800 kilometers. “Preparations are taken in light of the risk of additional provocation as the Nimitz arrives at the port of Busan on March 28,” a military source said.

“North Korea is seriously threatening regional security order by using aggressive nuclear weapons,” said Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Kim Seung-kyeom. "We will make it clear that nuclear attack attempts by the enemy will result in the end of the regime."

Hyo-Ju Son hjson@donga.com