According to North Korea, the ballistic missile test flights that occurred on Tuesday were a training exercise for strikes on US bases in Japan and, in fact, three of the four missiles fell dangerously close to the coast of Japan.
North Korea’s official news agency, Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that “Kim Jong-un gave the order for the drill to start” and was “feasting his eyes on the trails of ballistic rockets. The four ballistic rockets launched simultaneously are so accurate that they look like acrobatic flying corps in formation.”
KCNA went on to explain that the military units involved are “tasked to strike the bases of the US imperialist aggressor forces in Japan in contingency.”
This latest statement has caused the United Nations Security Council to schedule an emergency meeting for Wednesday at the request of Washington and Tokyo.
President Trump has said that Washington has an “ironclad commitment” to the safety of Japan and South Korea.
A White House statement read, “The US will demonstrate to Pyongyang that there were ‘very dire consequences’ for its actions.”
Although the United Nations (UN) has hit N. Korea with six different sanctions since 2006, they have continued to defy them.
The UN resolution prohibits N. Korea from engaging in any ballistic missile technology, and US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has tweeted that the world “won’t allow” North Korea to continue on its destructive path.
The world won’t allow North Korea to continue on its destructive path. US & allies committed to stopping this menace to int’l security. pic.twitter.com/6TvkZYRiL0
— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) March 6, 2017
Choi Kang, an analyst at the Seoul-based Asian Institute for Policy Studies, called the recent ballistic missile test firing launch a message to Tokyo.
“North Korea is demonstrating that its target is not just limited to the Korean peninsula anymore but can extend to Japan at any time and even the US.”
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Monday that the administration is beginning to “enhance our ability to defend against North Korea’s ballistic missiles.”
According to the US Pacific Command, the US military is deploying the THAAD anti-ballistic missile defense system to South Korea to protect against threats from the North, with the first delivery arriving on Monday.
The THAAD deployment is a sore spot for China which has already imposed several steps seen as economic retaliation against South Korea.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang said Tuesday that Beijing remained “firmly opposed” to THAAD and will “resolutely take necessary measures to defend our own security interests.”
South Korea’s acting president, Hwang Kyo-Ahn said on Tuesday that the recent missile launches could also be just an attempt at distraction by Kim Jong-un, turning eyes away from the recent murder of his half-brother Kim Jong-nam at Kuala Lumpur International Airport last month.
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