North Korea launches SECOND ballistic missile out to sea hours after US warned nuke attacks would ‘end Kim’s regime’

NORTH Korea has fired a second ballistic missile off its east coast just hours after the US warned a nuke attack would “end Kim’s regime”.

South Korea’s military said in a statement that North Korea launched what appeared to be a long-range ballistic missile from its capital region Monday morning.

North Korea has fired a missile on Sunday the Japanese coast guard said. Picture shows an intercontinental ballistic missile in a launching drill in Pyongyang in MarchCredit: AP
The launch comes hours after The US warned North Korea against nuclear attacksCredit: Reuters

It said South Korea maintain a readiness while exchanging information about the launch with US and Japanese authorities.

Japan’s Defence Ministry also said it detected a suspected ballistic missile launch by North Korea.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters that he had so far received no report of injuries or damages from the missile launch and that he planned to hold a National Security Council meeting to discuss the test.

The missile’s flight range and maximum altitude were not immediately available.

Japan’s NHK broadcaster said it could be a long-range missile, citing Japan’s Defence Ministry.

The international airport serving Pyongyang is where the North previously launched ICBMs and is suspected to be the location of a missile assembly facility.

The launch came hours after South Korea reported North Korea conducting a short-range ballistic missile test into the sea in a resumption of its weapons testing activities in about a month.

Observers said the North’s back-to-back launches were likely a protest against the moves by South Korea and the United States to bolster their nuclear deterrence plans in the face of North Korea’s evolving nuclear threats.

Senior US and South Korean officials met in Washington over the weekend and agreed to update their nuclear deterrence and contingency strategies and incorporate nuclear operation scenarios in their combined military exercises next summer.

On Sunday, North Korea’s Defence Ministry slammed its rivals’ move to include nuclear operation scenarios in their joint drills, describing it as an open threat to potentially use nuclear weapons against the North.

It vowed to prepare unspecified offensive countermeasures.

The first missile was launched towards the sea off North Korea’s east coast and flew about 350 miles before falling in the ocean, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed.

“According to the Ministry of Defence, a possible ballistic missile was launched from North Korea,” a post from Japanese outlet UN NERV read on X.

“Vessels should pay attention to future information, and if they observe a fallen object, they should report the relevant information to the Japan Coast Guard without approaching it.”

South Korea’s military also verified the launch from its Northern neighbour towards the sea, confirming it was a short-range missile, Yonhap News Agency reports.

The three countries had said that a real-time missile information sharing system would become operational this month.

About 20 minutes after initially reporting the launch, the Japanese coast guard said the missile had already fallen.

All of North Korea’s ballistic missile activities are banned by United Nations Security Council resolutions, though Pyongyang defends them as its sovereign right to self defence.

“North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launch is a clear violation of the United Nations Security Council resolution, which prohibits the use of ballistic missile technology and scientific and technological cooperation,” South Korea’s JCS said in a statement.

Less than 30 minutes after the launch, North Korean official media aired a statement from the defence ministry denouncing “military gangsters” in the US and South Korea for inflaming tensions through drills, demonstrations of force, and nuclear war planning.

An anonymous ministry spokesperson noted the arrival of the USS Missouri, a nuclear-powered submarine, at the South Korean port city of Busan on Sunday.

“The armed forces of the DPRK will thoroughly neutralize the U.S. and its vassal forces’ attempt to ignite a nuclear war and thus reliably ensure peace and security in the Korean peninsula,” the statement said, using the initials of North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The missile launch comes just hours after the US warned North Korea that any nuclear attack against the nation or its allies “is unacceptable and will result in the end of the (Kim Jong) Un regime,” a joint US-South Korean statement said on Saturday.

“The US side reiterated that any nuclear attack by the DPRK against the ROK will be met with a swift, overwhelming, and decisive response,” the statement said.

It also followed warnings from officials in Seoul and Tokyo that nuclear-armed North Korea was preparing to test-fire a missile, including one of its longest-range intercontinental ballistic missiles this month.

As part of their promise to exchange more information on preparations for a potential conflict with North Korea, the United States and the Republic of Korea organised the second meeting of the Nuclear Consultative Group (NCG).

Both countries discussed nuclear deterrence in Washington on Friday, a meeting that has been criticised by the North Korean state.

A variety of ballistic missiles that can strike targets in South Korea, Japan, and the US mainland have been developed and tested by Pyongyang, Reuters reports.

Kim Tae-hyo, South Korea’s deputy national security adviser said on Friday that North Korea may test-launch an intercontinental ballistic missile this month, which was considered a nuclear threat regardless of its range because it can carry a nuclear warhead.

The third NCG will be convened in Korea next summer.

Animosities between the two Koreas deepened after North Korea launched its first military reconnaissance satellite into space on November 21 in violation of UN bans.

South Korea, the US and Japan strongly condemned the launch, viewing it as an attempt by the North to improve its missile technology as well as establish a space-based surveillance system.

South Korea announced plans to resume front-line aerial surveillance in response.

North Korea quickly retaliated by restoring border guard posts, officials in Seoul said. Both steps would breach a 2018 inter-Korean deal on easing front-line military tensions.

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America warned that any nuclear attacks from North Korea ‘will result in the end of the Kim Jong Un regime’Credit: Reuters
South Korea also confirmed the missile launch, not pictured, said to be made towards the seaCredit: AFP


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