N Korea fires missiles toward sea as US warns over nukes

Oct 27, 2022, 8:35 PM | Updated: Oct 29, 2022, 12:41 am
FILE - In this photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspe...

FILE - In this photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects military exercises at an undisclosed location in North Korea on Oct. 8, 2022. South Korea says Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, North Korea has fired a ballistic missile toward its eastern waters. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the North Korean government. The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

(Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles toward the sea on Friday in its first ballistic weapons launches in two weeks, as the U.S. military warned the North that the use of nuclear weapons “will result in the end of that regime.”

South Korea’s military detected the two launches from the North’s eastern coastal Tongchon area around midday on Friday, Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. It said both missiles flew about 230 kilometers (140 miles) at a maximum altitude of 24 kilometers (15 miles).

The statement said South Korea strongly condemns the launches, calling them “a grave provocation” that undermines regional peace and violates U.N. Security Council resolutions banning any ballistic activities by North Korea.

The U.S. Indo Pacific Command said the launches highlighted the “destabilizing impact” of North Korea’s illicit nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. The Japanese Defense Ministry said it also detected the launches and that the type of missiles used and their flight information were still being analyzed.

South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said its top nuclear envoy held separate phone talks with his U.S. and Japanese counterparts soon after the launches. It said the three agreed to strengthen trilateral coordination on North Korea while repeating their calls for the North to stop weapons tests and return to talks.

The back-to-back launches, the North’s first ballistic missile tests since Oct. 14, came on the final day of South Korea’s annual 12-day “Hoguk” field exercises, which also involved an unspecified number of U.S. troops this year. Next week, South Korean and U.S. air forces plan to conduct a large-scale training as well.

North Korea sees such regular drills by Seoul and Washington as practice for launching an attack on the North, though the allies say their exercises are defensive in nature.

Next week’s “Vigilant Storm” aerial drills are to run from Monday to Friday and involve about 140 South Korean warplanes and about 100 U.S. aircraft. The planes include sophisticated fighter jets like F-35 from both nations, South Korea’s Defense Ministry said in a statement earlier Friday.

Since late September, North Korea has launched a barrage of missiles toward the sea in what it called simulated tests of tactical nuclear weapons systems designed to attack South Korean and U.S. targets. North Korea says its testing activities were meant to issue a warning amid a series of South Korea-U.S. military drills. But some experts say Pyongyang has also used its rivals’ drills as a chance to test new weapons systems, boost its nuclear capability and increase its leverage in future dealings with Washington and Seoul.

Tongchon, the launch site for the North’s Friday launches, is about 60 kilometers (37 miles) away from the inter-Korean land border. The area was closer to South Korean territory than any other missile launch site North Korea has used so far this year, according to South Korea’s Defense Ministry.

South Korea and the United States have strongly warned North Korea against using its nuclear weapons preemptively.

The Pentagon’s National Defense Strategy report issued on Thursday stated that any nuclear attack by North Korea against the United States or its allies and partners “will result in the end of that regime.”

“There is no scenario in which the Kim regime could employ nuclear weapons and survive,” the report said. The Pentagon said it will continue to deter North Korean attacks through “forward posture,” including nuclear deterrence, integrated air and missile defenses, and close coordination and interoperability with South Korea.

During a visit to Tokyo on Tuesday, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman reiterated that the United States would fully use its military capabilities, “including nuclear,” to defend its allies South Korea and Japan.

Last month, South Korea’s Defense Ministry warned North Korea that using its nuclear weapons would put it on a “path of self-destruction.”

There are concerns that the North could up the ante in the coming weeks by conducting its first nuclear test since 2017.

Rafael Grossi, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Thursday that a new nuclear test explosion by North Korea “would be yet another confirmation of a program which is moving full steam ahead in a way that is incredibly concerning.”

He said the U.N. agency has been observing preparations for a new test, which would be the North’s seventh overall, but gave no indication of whether an atomic blast is imminent.

In recent days, North Korea has also fired hundreds of shells in inter-Korean maritime buffer zones that the two Koreas established in 2018 to reduce frontline military tensions. North Korea has said the artillery firings were in reaction to South Korean live-fire exercises at land border areas.

On Monday, the rival Koreas exchanged warning shots along their disputed western sea boundary, a scene of past bloodshed and naval battles, as they accused each other of violating the boundary.

__

Associated Press writer Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Stowaways found on a ship’s rudder in Spain’s Canary Islands

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Spain’s Maritime Rescue Service says it has rescued three stowaways traveling on a ship’s rudder in the Canary Islands after the vessel sailed there from Nigeria. The men, found on the Alithini II oil tanker at the Las Palmas port, appeared to have symptoms of dehydration and hypothermia and were transferred […]
2 hours ago
FILE - Mike Moscrop, left, from Orange County, Calif., poses with Amir Sieidoust, an Iranian suppor...
Associated Press

Iran-US World Cup clash rife with political tension

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The last World Cup clash between the United States and Iran 24 years ago is considered one of the most politically charged matches in soccer history. This time, the political overtones are just as strong and relations perhaps even more fraught as the U.S. and Iran face off once again on […]
2 hours ago
Associated Press

Qatar, Germany sign liquefied natural gas deal amid crisis

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Qatar and Germany signed a 15-year deal Tuesday to ship liquefied natural gas from Doha to the European economic powerhouse as it scrambles to replace Russian gas supplies that were cut during the ongoing war in Ukraine. Officials gave no dollar value for the deal, which would begin in 2026 and […]
2 hours ago
FILE - Pakistan army Lt. Gen. Syed Asim Munir attends a ceremony in Islamabad, Pakistan, Nov. 1, 20...
Associated Press

Pakistan’s new army chief takes charge of military

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s new military chief took command of the country’s armed forces on Tuesday amid a deepening political rift between the government and the popular opposition leader, as well as a renewed threat from a key militant group that has been behind scores of deadly attacks over 15 years. The army has historically […]
2 hours ago
A boy kisses a dog while he charges his phone at the heating tent "Point of Invincibly" in Bucha, U...
Associated Press

Ukraine’s ‘Invincibility’ centers offer refuge, resilience

BUCHA, Ukraine (AP) — Retired Ukrainian construction worker Borys Markovnikov is on the move again: This time, just a few steps from his home in the town of Bucha, northwest of Kyiv, to seek shelter and warmth at a “Point of Invincibility” — a government-built help station that serves food, drinks, warmth and ultimately, resilience, […]
2 hours ago
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg gestures during joint statements with Romanian President Kl...
Associated Press

NATO ministers meet to drum up more aid, arms for Ukraine

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his NATO counterparts are gathering in Romania on Tuesday to drum up urgently needed support for Ukraine, including deliveries of electrical components for the war-torn country’s devastated power transmission network. Ukraine’s grid has been battered countrywide since early October by targeted Russian strikes, in […]
2 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
N Korea fires missiles toward sea as US warns over nukes