South Korea’s military on Wednesday said that North Korean missiles have, for the first time, landed close to South Korean waters.
Denouncing North Korea’s latest missile launch as being the first into an area close to the South’s territorial waters since the division of the peninsula more than seven decades ago, South Korea’s military called it an “intolerable” act, reported Yonhap News Agency. “The North Korean missile launch is very unusual and unacceptable as it fell close to South Korean territorial waters, south of the maritime border,” said Kang Shin-chul, Director of Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
North Korea fired at least 10 missiles of various types, Seoul’s military said, shortly after confirming that a ballistic missile had landed close to South Korean waters for the first time.
Earlier in the day, the North launched at least three short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) into the East Sea, one of which flew across its de facto maritime border with South Korea, according to the South’s military, reported Yonhap News Agency.
The launches came just hours after Pyongyang demanded that the United States and South Korea stop large-scale military exercises, saying such “military rashness and provocation can be no longer tolerated.”
The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said the missile firing from a site in or around the North’s eastern coastal city of Wonsan was detected at around 8:51 am.
“North Korea’s missile launch, which marks the first time since the division of the peninsula that has landed near our territorial waters south of the Northern Limit Line, is very rare and intolerable,” the JCS said in a press release.
“Our military vowed to respond firmly to this (provocation),” it added.
Tensions are escalating in the Korean peninsula as Kim-led North Korea launched several missile tests, including one that flew over neighbouring Japan this month. The United States and its allies have responded with bombing drills.