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NORTH KOREA FIRED BALLISTIC MISSILES IN REPLY TO TRUMP LETTER?

File Photo of Kim Jung Un, Image Source: KCNA via KNS/AFP

It’s been just a week since US President Donald Trump sent a personal letter to Kim Jung saying to support North Korea fighting COVID-19 pandemic. Who expected that North Korea would fire missiles in reply to the letter?

North Korea has fired two suspected ballistic missiles into the ocean off its east coast – according to South Korea and Japan – the latest in a flurry of weapon launches that Seoul decried as “inappropriate” amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Two “short-range projectiles” were launched from the coastal Wonsan area on Sunday, and flew 230 kilometres (143 miles) at a maximum altitude of 30 kilometres (19 miles), South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff reported.

“…this kind of military act by North Korea is very inappropriate and we call for an immediate halt,” South Korea’s JCS said in a statement, according to Yonhap news agency.

Japan’s Ministry of Defense said they appeared to be ballistic missiles, and they did not land in Japanese territory or its exclusive economic zone.

Till now North Korea fired 9 ballistic missiles and all are directly monitored by the Chairman Kim Jung Un himself. 

Regarding this event, no official statement has been issued by North Korean authority till now.

That would be the most missiles ever fired in a single month by North Korea, according to a tally by Shea Cotton, senior researcher at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies.

“Coming this early in the year, the only time we’ve seen tests this frequently were in 2016 and 2017, both of which were huge years for North Korea’s missile program,” he posted on Twitter.

All of the missiles fired so far this year have been small, short-range weapons, such as the KN-24 fired during the last launch on March 21.

But Kim has warned that North Korea is developing a new “strategic weapon” to be unveiled this year, with analysts speculating that it could be a new long-range ballistic missile, or a submarine capable of launching such missiles.

North Korea has been barred from testing ballistic missiles and heavily sanctioned over its missile and nuclear weapons programs by the resolutions passed in United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

ONGOING MILITARY DRILLS

Even there is a lock down and quarantine measures imposed,  it conducted monthly military drills.

On the other hand, South Korea and the United States have postponed some of their joint military exercises because of the COVID-19 outbreak in South Korea.

Politically and economically isolated, North Korea has not reported any confirmed cases, though some foreign experts have expressed doubts.

In the past, North Korea has typically conducted military drills, including tests of its ballistic missiles, in March as the wintry weather turns warmer. For the previous two years, however, it had avoided such springtime launches amid denuclearization talks with the United States.

News Source: March 29, Reuters, Click here to Read the full report



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