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South Korea Fires Missiles in Response to North’s ICBM Launch

South Korea Fires Missiles

South Korean jets and navy ships fired a barrage of guided-missiles in to the ocean during drills Thursday, an exhibition of military power 48 hrs after North Korea test-launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile.

The North’s ICBM launch, its most successful missile test to date, has stoked security worries in Washington, Seoul and Tokyo since it showed the continent could eventually perfect the best nuclear missile competent at reaching anywhere in the United States. Analysts repeat the missile tested Tuesday could reach Alaska if launched in a normal trajectory.

The live-fire drills off South Korea’s new england were previously scheduled. In a show of force, South Korea and also the United States also staged “deep strike” precision missile firing drills on Wednesday as a warning on the North.

In North Korea’s capital, thousands of people rallied Thursday in Kim Il Sung square to celebrate the launch.

The rally was then a fireworks display down the Taedonggang, a river that runs through central Pyongyang.

North Korea often stages rallies within the square to mark events it really wants to underscore as really important. A similar rally was held last month on the anniversary in the beginning with the 1950-53 Korean War.

Thursday’s drills in South Korea were geared towards boosting readiness against possible maritime North Korean aggression. They involved 15 warships including a 3,200-ton-class destroyer, in addition to helicopters and fighter jets, South Korea’s navy said inside a statement.

“Our military is maintaining the greatest a higher level readiness to produce a swift response even when a war breaks out today,” said Rear Adm. Kwon Jeong Seob, who directed the drills, according on the statement.

After the ICBM launch, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he would never put his weapons programs up for negotiation unless the United States abandons its hostile policy toward the North. Kim’s statement suggested he’ll order more missile and nuclear tests until his country develops a functioning ICBM that can place the entire U.S. within its striking distance.

In a U.N. Security Council session Wednesday, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said the launch “is an obvious and sharp military escalation” along with the United States is prepared to utilize its “considerable military forces” to guard itself and its allies “if we should.” She said the U.S. administration prefers “not to get in that direction,” but to use its “great capabilities within the area of trade” to address “those who threaten us and those that supply the threats.”

Speaking in Berlin ahead of the Group of 20 summit, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Wednesday the world will want to look at tougher sanctions up against the North and insisted the problem has to be solved peacefully.

The missile launch would have been a direct rebuke to U.S. President Donald Trump’s earlier declaration on Twitter that this kind of test “won’t happen!” and to Moon, who was simply pushing to improve strained ties using the North.

The U.N. Security Council could impose additional sanctions on North Korea, yet it’s unclear they might prevent it from pursuing its nuclear and missile programs since the country is already under multiple rounds of U.N. sanctions due to the previous weapon will be focusing on on the symposium.

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