North Korea fires short-range missiles in response to U.S. and South Korea military exercises

By Daniel S Levine,

North Korea fired four short-range missiles into the air on Thursday, a move seen as a response to the recent U.S. and South Korea military exercises. South Korea’s Defense Ministry confirmed that the missiles were fired.

The reason for the launches was not clear, but it isn’t rare for North Korea to launch missiles during its own exercises, notes Reuters.

“Our military will maintain tight vigilance in preparation for additional launches or any military provocation from the North,” a South Korea defense spokesperson told the AFP, reports the BBC.

Analysts believe that these launches will not create the same kind of tension that built up last year. They just happened to coincide with recent exercises between the South and U.S., which Pyongyang usually calls preparations for war. In addition, it is believed that launches may be in response to a United Nations’ panel report that called on Kim Jong-Un and other officials to be tried for crimes against humanity.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that North Korea also showed the first images of South Korean Baptist missionary Kim Jung Wook since he was arrested there. Pyongyang claims he was trying to establish Christian churches and was working for the South Korean spy agency, a claim Seoul denies.

image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons



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