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Sunday, December 4, 2022
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    South Korea, US fire missiles in response to North Korea test

    SEOUL (AFP) – The South Korean and United States (US) militaries fired a volley of missiles into the sea in response to North Korea firing a ballistic missile over Japan, Seoul said yesterday, as global condemnation mounted over Pyongyang’s likely longest-ever test.

    Nuclear-armed North Korea fired an Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) over Japan for the first time in five years on Tuesday, prompting Tokyo to issue evacuation warnings for some residents.

    South Korea and the US staged a drill of their own in response, firing ground-to-ground missiles into the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan, Seoul’s military said.

    Both militaries fired two ATACMS short-range ballistic missiles into the water “to precisely strike a virtual target”, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

    The military also confirmed that a South Korean missile failed soon after it was launched and crashed, without causing any casualties.

    A Japan Air Self-Defence Force ground-based missile interceptor Patriot system deployed next to the Ministry of Defence in Tokyo. PHOTO: AFP

    South Korean and US fighter jets had carried out a bombing drill at a virtual target in the Yellow Sea on Tuesday.

    The joint drills aim to “make sure that we have the military capabilities at the ready to respond to provocations by the North if it comes to that”, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told CNN.

    South Korea’s military also announced yesterday that the nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier would return to the area, having already conducted joint drills with Seoul’s navy last month.

    Pyongyang’s Tuesday launch was part of a record year of sanctions-busting weapons tests by the isolated regime, which recently revised its nuclear laws, with leader Kim Jong-un declaring his country an “irreversible” nuclear power.

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