South Korea and the US military fired a volley of missiles into the sea a day after North Korea launched a ballistic missile over Japan.
Most important points:
- The missile that North Korea fired was the first to go over Japan since 2017
- UN Secretary-General accused North Korea of violating Security Council resolutions
- One of the missiles South Korea fired failed and crashed shortly after it was launched
US President Joe Biden said North Korea’s launch on Tuesday posed a danger to the people of Japan, who were told to take cover as it flew over, and destabilized the region.
South Korean and US troops held their own missile drill on the coast of South Korea on Wednesday, South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff said.
But a South Korean missile failed and crashed to the ground, sending residents into a panic who thought they might be attacked by North Korea.
The Hyumoo-2 short-range missile has crashed into an air base on the outskirts of the South Korean coastal city of Gangneung.
Videos on social media showed balls of orange flame from the area they described as near the base.
The military said no one was injured in the crash and that it was investigating what caused the missile’s “abnormal flight”.
‘Reckless and provocative’
North Korea’s launch on Tuesday was a “reckless and deliberately provocative act”, according to the European Union.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it was a violation of Security Council resolutions.
The United States asked the UN Security Council to meet on Wednesday to discuss North Korea, but diplomats said China and Russia opposed public talks between the 15 members.
In a briefing on Tuesday, Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said the country would not rule out a counter-attack, adding: “We continue to work on fundamentally strengthening our defense capabilities.”
The missile was North Korea’s first to fly over Japan since 2017, and its estimated 4,600km flight was the longest in a North Korean test, usually “lifted” into space to avoid flying over neighboring countries.