North Korea fires two cruise missiles: Source

The launches were from the west coast town of Onchon



Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

By Reuters

Published: Wed 17 Aug 2022, 10:18 AM

Last updated: Wed 17 Aug 2022, 10:39 AM

Early on Wednesday, North Korea fired two cruise missiles from the west coast town of Onchon, a South Korean military source said.

It added that the South Korean and the United States military authorities were analysing details of the missiles' flight, including the range.

The launches come as South Korea and the United States kicked off their four-day preliminary joint drill on Tuesday, in preparation for the long-suspended live field training Ulchi Freedom Shield, which is to take place from August 22 to September 1.

The two allies have scaled back combined military drills in recent years, because of Covid-19, as well as to lower tensions with the North, which has accused the exercises of being a rehearsal for future attacks.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the Pentagon on Tuesday said that the US, South Korea and Japan participated in a ballistic missile defence exercise off Hawaii's coast last week — the first such drills since 2017, as relations between Seoul and Tokyo hit their lowest in years.

Pyongyang had battled against a Covid-19 outbreak for months before declaring victory over the virus last week. The North, however, has been observed preparing for a possible nuclear test, which would be its first since 2017.

In a separate news release made by the North on Thursday, the sister of its leader Kim Jong Un blamed propaganda leaflets from South Korea found near the border for causing the coronavirus outbreak and vowed a "deadly retaliation" against the South.

Despite such warnings, on Wednesday, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol reiterated that he was willing to provide phased economic aid to North Korea, if it ended nuclear weapons development and began denuclearisation, as he took questions during a news conference to mark his first 100 days in office.

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