A show of strength. North Korea claimed to have fired, on Monday, February 20, two missiles capable, according to it, of a “tactical nuclear attack” capable of completely destroying enemy airbases. According to the official North Korean agency KCNA, this “exercise” was conducted in response to joint U.S. and South Korean aerial exercises on Sunday. Because Pyongyang accuses the two allies of being responsible for the deterioration of the security situation in the peninsula.
This is the second North Korean launch in 48 hours, after the launch of one of its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) on Saturday in response to a military exercise planned by Washington and Seoul. The launch of this ICBM, which Tokyo says fell in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), led Washington and Seoul to organize joint air maneuvers on Sunday.
The UN Security Council meets on Tuesday
In a statement released Monday morning, the North Korean leader’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, warned that Pyongyang would continue to monitor moves by Washington and Seoul to deploy more US strategic assets in the region, promising to take steps. “corresponding countermeasures” to any perceived threat. “The frequency of use of the Pacific as a firing range depends on the type of action of the American forces”, she put forward in a press release published by KCNA. North Korea claims to have used “super-large multiple rocket launchers”.
But for the United States, it is “short-range ballistic missiles”, says the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Washington-based think tank. Thus, the South Korean army claimed to have detected the firing of two short-range ballistic missiles on Monday between 7 a.m. and 7:11 a.m. (11 p.m. and 11:11 p.m. Paris time) which covered a distance of 390 km for one and 340 km for the other before falling into the East Sea, in reference to the body of water also known as the Sea of Japan.
Seoul called the launch of “serious provocation that undermines the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula” and called on Pyongyang to put an end to it “immediately”. At the request of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, the United Nations Security Council will meet urgently on Tuesday afternoon in New York.