On the neighboring South Korean island of Ulleung, located 104 miles from where the North Korean missile landed, air raid sirens sounded, according to the South Korean Defense Ministry. No one was injured after the island’s 9,000 residents were ordered to take shelter, a spokesman for the island’s local government said.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said he had ordered the military to ensure that North Korea “pays a clear price for its provocation”, according to his office. South Korea’s military said it would respond “firmly” in a separate statement in the morning. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin denounced the act in a phone call, the Seoul Foreign Ministry said in a press release.
Around noon local time, the South Korean armed forces said an undisclosed number of fighters fired three air-to-surface precision missiles near North Korean waters. “We remind the North that it bears the responsibility for everything that is happening now. He continued his provocations despite our repeated warnings,” the Southern Army said.
The Korean War ended with an armistice and not a peace treaty, which means the two Koreas are still technically at war.
North Korea says it has tested nuclear-capable missiles targeting the South
North Korea’s missile launch adds to the roughly two dozen missile events already carried out by Kim Jong Un’s regime this year. In 2022, Pyongyang fired the most missiles in a single year since it began missile testing in the 1980s, according to figures compiled by the Center for Strategic International Studies, a Washington think tank.
North Korea also escalated tensions last month, launching a ballistic missile at Japan for the first time in five years.
The regime has sought to accelerate the development of its nuclear weapons program under Kim, who inherited power after his father’s death in 2011. Young Kim, believed to be in his late 30s by U.S. and South officials Koreans, has overseen four of the regime’s six nuclear bomb tests and the vast majority of the regime’s missile tests to date.
Yoon’s office said South Korean officials expressed their anger at a national security meeting after the missile launch, exasperated by the North’s decision to carry out a provocation as South Korea goes through a period of mourning.
A crowd crush in Seoul last week killed more than 150 people, mostly young adults. Yoon declared a period of national mourning until November 5.
“It shows that the North Korean regime is against humanity and humanitarianism,” Yoon’s office said.