This would be the ninth launch of this type in the last 20 days and one more step in the escalation of tension in the region.

North Korea today launched at least one unidentified missile into the Sea of ​​Japan (called the East Sea in the two Koreas), which is the ninth launch of this type in the last 20 days and a further step in the escalation of tension who lives in the region.

“North Korea has fired an unidentified missile into the East Sea,” the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) explained in a brief statement.

The launch comes just an hour after at least 10 North Korean aircraft carried out maneuvers near the border with the South, forcing Seoul to deploy planes for a possible interception maneuver, and a day after Pyongyang announced it had carried out another test launch of cruise missiles into the Yellow Sea.

“The Republic of Korea Army (official name of South Korea) identified (around the border) about 10 North Korean aircraft between 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 13 (1:30 p.m. GMT on Thursday) and 0:20 a.m. on Friday. October 14 (15:20 GMT on Thursday) and adopted response measures,” the JCS explained in a statement.

Seoul activated the “scramble” maneuver to intercept aircraft that enter its airspace by deploying several aircraft, including several F-35 fighter-bombers, without any incident, according to the text.

The North Korean planes were positioned 25 kilometers north of the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) that divides both countries, and 12 kilometers north of the so-called Northern Limit Line (NLL), which marks the maritime divide between the two countries. in the Yellow Sea (called the West Sea in the two Koreas).

It is the second time in the last week that North Korean planes have flown near the border between the two countries.

The North Korean action comes on the same day that the North Korean regime announced a new launch of missiles and that South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said that he is considering asking the US for a greater military deployment in the region.

The test announced today by Pyongyang represents a succession of tests to test its tactical nuclear weapons systems in response to recent maneuvers by a US aircraft carrier in waters off the Korean peninsula.

Many analysts believe that new North Korean tests are on the horizon, including a new underground nuclear detonation, which would be the first since September 2017.

North Korea, which has kept its borders completely closed since the start of the pandemic, approved a major weapons modernization plan in 2021 and has rejected offers to resume dialogue by South Korea and the US.

In turn, the satellites have detected that North Korea has been preparing for months to carry out a new atomic test in Punggye-ri (northeast of the country).

“military threat”

Ahead of the North Korean exercises, the United States redeployed its nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan to waters east of South Korea.

Pyongyang has lambasted the carrier’s presence, saying on Monday that the United States “openly poses a military threat,” according to KCNA.

KCNA’s numerous reports on the recent tests are an indication that Pyongyang is concerned with the recent maneuvers led by Washington, according to analysts.

“To strengthen its self-proclaimed deterrence, (Pyongyang) is making explicit the nuclear threat behind its recent missile launches,” said Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul. “The KCNA report could also be a harbinger of an upcoming nuclear test for the type of tactical warhead that would arm the units Kim visited in the field,” he added.

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