North Korea Fires Two Ballistic Missiles, Blames US For 'escalation'

North Korea fires two ballistic missiles, blames US for 'escalation'

Seoul, Oct 6 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 6th Oct, 2022 ) :North Korea fired two ballistic missiles Thursday and claimed its recent blitz of sanctions-busting tests were necessary countermeasures against joint military drills by the United States and South Korea.

As the United Nations Security Council met to discuss Pyongyang's Tuesday launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan, North Korea blamed Washington for "escalating the military tensions on the Korean peninsula".

The recent launches -- six in less than two weeks -- were "the just counteraction measures of the Korean People's Army", Pyongyang's foreign ministry said in a statement Thursday.

Seoul, Tokyo and Washington have ramped up joint military drills in recent weeks, including large-scale naval manoeuvres and anti-submarine exercises.

The security allies carried out a joint "missile defence exercise" in waters off the peninsula Thursday, Seoul's military said, involving a US navy destroyer from the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier's strike group.

That was "expected to further solidify operational capabilities and posture to respond to North Korean missile provocations", Seoul's military said.

The United States redeployed the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to waters east of South Korea after Pyongyang's Tuesday test.

North Korea's foreign ministry said this posed "a serious threat to the stability of the situation on the Korean peninsula".

Early on Thursday, South Korea's military said it had detected two short-range ballistic missiles launched from the Samsok area in Pyongyang towards the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan.

The first missile travelled 350 kilometres (217 miles) at a maximum altitude of around 80 kilometres, according to their analysis, with the second flying 800 kilometres at an altitude of 60 kilometres.

It appears to be the first time North Korea has fired missiles from Samsok, an official from Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff told reporters.

He added that they look like a "different type of short-range ballistic missiles" from previous launches.

Tokyo also confirmed the launches, with defence minister Yasukazu Hamada telling reporters that it was important not to "overlook the significant improvement of (North Korea's) missile technology".