North Korea fires missile, vows “fiercer” response to US and its allies

SEOUL, Nov 17 (Reuters) – North Korea fired a ballistic missile on Thursday and warned of “fiercer military responses” to U.S. efforts to increase its security presence in the region with its allies, saying Washington is taking a “gamble you’ll regret.” “.

North Korea has carried out a registry number of such tests this year, and also fired hundreds of artillery shells at sea most recently when South Korea and the United States hosted exercises, some of which involved Japan.

The South Korean military said the ballistic missile was launched from the North Korean east coast city of Wonsan at 10:48 am (0248 GMT), flying 240 km (150 miles) at a altitude of 47 km at a speed of Mach 4.

The latest launch came less than two hours after North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui criticized a Sunday trilateral summit of the United States, South Korea and Japan, during which the leaders criticized Pyongyang’s weapons tests and promised greater security cooperation.

In the talks, US President Joe Biden reaffirmed a commitment to bolster extended deterrence and defend the two Asian allies with a “full range of capabilities” including nuclear weapons.

Choe said the three countries’ “war exercises for aggression” failed to control the North, but would rather bring a “more serious, realistic and unavoidable threat” to themselves.

“The more enthusiastic the United States is with the ‘enhanced offer of extended deterrence’ to its allies and the more it intensifies military activities of provocation and bragging… the more fierce the DPRK’s military reaction will be,” Choe said in a statement released by the official. KCNA News Agency.

He referred to his country by the initials of its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“The United States will be very aware that it is gambling, for which it will certainly regret it,” Choe added.

The South Korean and US militaries carried out missile defense drills after the North’s latest launch, the Seoul Joint Chiefs of Staff said, strongly condemning it.

“We urge an immediate halt to North Korea’s series of ballistic missile launches, which is a serious provocation damaging to peace and stability,” the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

The United States has said since May that North Korea is preparing to conduct its first nuclear test since 2017, but the timing is unclear.

Washington, Seoul and Tokyo said in a joint statement after the summit that Pyongyang’s nuclear tests would incur a “strong and resolute response.”

Choe called the North’s military activities “legitimate and fair counterreactions” to the US-led exercises.

South Korean Unification Minister Kwon Young-se, who handles Korea’s internal affairs, said the North may postpone its nuclear test for some time, citing China’s domestic political timetable.

“North Korea has also achieved some political effects by codifying its nuclear law in August, so it may not have immediate needs for a nuclear test,” Kwon said in an interview with the Yonhap news agency published on Thursday.

Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Additional reporting by Soo-hyang Choi; Edited by Jacqueline Wong, Lincoln Feast, Gerry Doyle, and William Mallard

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