On July 25th, North Korea launched “at least” 2 short-range missiles into the sea, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff announced.
The North fired one missile at 5.34am and a second at 5.57am, from Wonsan areas into the East Sea, and they flew about 430km (267 miles), Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.
“Our military is closely monitoring the situation in case of additional launches and maintaining a readiness posture.”
Japan’s Kyodo News said, citing an unnamed government source, that the missiles did not reach Japan’s exclusive economic zone and had no impact on Japan’s national security.
An anonymous US official, too, said that there was a launch and he could confirm that it was a short-range missile.
Usually, KCNA, North Korea’s official agency also publishes stories on all missile tests, but there’s been no report as of mid-day CET on July 25th.
These tests, according to MSM “closely follow” urges by North Korea against joint military exercises between the US and South Korea.
In this case, “closely” means approximately a month earlier.
On June 27th and 28th respectively, North Korea issued two statements.
The first one was by Kwon Jong Gun, director-general of the Department of American Affairs of the DPRK Foreign Ministry.
In his statement, he said that the US was getting increasingly desperate in its dialogue with the North.
“The DPRK-U.S. dialogue would not open by itself though the U.S. repeatedly talks about resumption of dialogue like a parrot without considering any realistic proposal that would fully conform with the interests of both sides.”
He further said South Korea was “stirring up” public opinion in regard to the North and that it should mind its “own internal business.” He said that the South played no role in the North-US dialogue.
“The south Korean authorities are now stirring up public opinion as if a sort of dialogue is being held between the north and the south, in order to find their own place to stand while affecting to make their presence felt by taking a share in the process.”
On June 28th, the statement was against the decision to hold the military exercise Alliance 19-2 from August 11th-20th to replace Ulji Freedom Guardian.
“This indicates their sinister intention to proceed with the exercises in defiance of the repeated warnings from the DPRK. This, therefore, amounts to a wanton challenge to the desire and expectation of all the Koreans and the international community for peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and an act to create the atmosphere of confrontation and danger of war again.”
In conclusion, the statement said that overreliance on the US by the South actually threatens the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
“The south Korean authorities should stop harmful acts at once, mindful that their reckless military provocations in reliance on the U.S. will divest them of the valuable opportunity for the improvement of the north-south relations.
A complete stop to the U.S.-south Korea joint military exercises is the unanimous demand of the entire Korean nation and the international community.”
And statements of the sort are not something uncommon, they are published on the KCNA approximately once every 10 or so days, with blame being thrown in the direction of the South’s conservative forces that want to return the Korean Peninsula’s situation to the older standoff. It is obvious that not only one side is to blame, but the resources the South, with the help of the US invests in propaganda, the North has no hope of matching.
Most recently, on July 11th, the North “slammed” South Korea’s authorities for allegedly bringing in two more F-35A fighter jets in mid-July, after some fighter jets being introduced in March.
“We, on our part, have no other choice but to develop and test the special armaments to completely destroy the lethal weapons reinforced in south Korea.
The south Korean authorities had better come to their senses before it is too late, shattering the preposterous illusions that an opportunity would come for improved inter-Korean relations if they follow in the footsteps of the United States.”
On July 23rd and possible connected to the missile tests, North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un inspected a newly-built submarine.
According to the KCNA’s release, the new submarine will “perform its duty in the operational waters of the East Sea of Korea and its operational deployment is near at hand.”
MSM report that the submarine may potentially be one that can launch ballistic missiles, but there is, in fact, absolutely no information released regarding the nature of the vessel.
“Saying that the operational capacity of a submarine is an important component in national defense of our country bounded on its east and west by sea, he stressed the need to steadily and reliably increase the national defense capability by directing big efforts to the development of the naval weapons and equipment such as submarine.”
“We can clearly see that it is a massive submarine – much larger than the existing one that’s been well known since 2014,” said Ankit Panda, a senior fellow at the U.S.-based Federation of American Scientists.
The estimation is based on a picture that shows a part of the submarine’s outer wall as background to Kim Jong-un and other North Korean officials.
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