North Korea warns the United States of “fierce” military action and tests a short-range missile

Seoul, South Korea

North Korea tested a ballistic missile on Thursday as the United States warned of a “stronger military response” to Washington’s strengthening defense ties with South Korea and Japan amid rising regional tensions.

In a statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency, North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said the US promotion of expanded deterrence for allies in the region is “a gamble you will surely regret.”

The greater the US defensive presence in the region, Choe said, “the more fierce (North Korean) military response will be, in direct proportion to it.” “The United States will be well aware that it is taking a gamble, which it will surely regret,” Choi added.

The KCNA statement said the warning came in response to the trilateral summit held between the United States, South Korea and Japan on Sunday during the ASEAN summit. At the meeting, US President Joe Biden reaffirmed his commitment to strengthening extended deterrence and defending South Korea and Japan with a “full range of capabilities,” including nuclear weapons.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula have risen steadily this year, with South Korea and the United States responding to Pyongyang’s missile tests by stepping up joint drills and military exercises, as well as their own missile tests.

Choe said the recent large-scale joint military exercises between the United States and its allies had “failed to contain” North Korea’s counter-reaction.

Explainer: How much damage can North Korea’s weapons do?


Source: CNN

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said Thursday that North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile from Wonsan County, Gangwon Province, at around 10:48 a.m. local time, and it fell into waters off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula. She added that the South Korean military has strengthened its surveillance and is cooperating closely with the United States.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said Thursday that Tokyo continues to “collect and analyze necessary information and closely monitor North Korea’s military tendencies in close cooperation with the United States and South Korea.”

It marks the 33rd day this year that North Korea conducted a missile test, according to a CNN tally. The number includes both ballistic and cruise missiles. By contrast, it has conducted just four Tests in 2020 and eight in 2021.

US and international observers have been warning for months that North Korea appears to be preparing an underground nuclear test, with satellite images showing activity at the nuclear test site. Such a test would be the first for the Hermit Nation in five years.

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