North Korea missile launch: In yet another instance of provocation, North Korea launched a ballistic missile towards its eastern sea on Thursday. According to South Korea's military, this comes hours after Pyongyang threatened to launch "fiercer" military measures against the US boosting its security commitment to its allies in the region.
In a brief statement, the Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea said they detected the launch from North Korea. However, they did not provide any additional information, such as the weapon's flight path or the exact landing location.
North Korea's foreign minister issues warning
Meanwhile, Choe Son-hui, the foreign minister of North Korea, issued a warning, claiming the recent US-South Korea-Japan summit agreement on the North will make tensions on the Korean Peninsula "more erratic."
Son-hui's remarks marked North Korea's first formal response to President Joe Biden's recent trilateral meeting with his colleagues from South Korea and Japan in Cambodia.
US, South Korea, and Japan denounce North's missile tests
During the meeting, the leaders of the three countries harshly denounced North Korea's latest missile tests in their joint statement and promised to cooperate to increase deterrence.
Further, Biden reiterated the US commitment to protect South Korea and Japan with all available means, including its nuclear arsenal.
Son-hui said the US-South Korea-Japan summit will bring the situation on the Korean Peninsula to “a more unpredictable phase.”
“The keener the US is on the ‘bolstered offer of extended deterrence to its allies and the more they intensify provocative and bluffing military activities on the Korean Peninsula and in the region, the fiercer (North Korea’s) military counteraction will be, in direct proportion to it,” Choe said. “It will pose a more serious, realistic and inevitable threat to the U.S. and its vassal forces.”
US will regret its actions in the region: North Korea
Son-hui did not say what steps North Korea could take but said that the US will be well aware that it is gambling for which it will certainly regret.
North Korea has steadfastly maintained its recent weapons testing activities are legitimate military counteractions to what it calls military drills between US and South Korean forces, which it views as a practice to launch attacks on the North. Washington and Seoul have said their exercises are defensive in nature.
In recent months, South Korean and US troops have expanded their regular exercises and resumed trilateral training with Japan in response to North Korea’s push to enlarge its nuclear and missile arsenals.
(With inputs from AP)