North Korea fired an unidentified ballistic missile after Pyongyang threatened to shoot down US spy planes in North Korean airspace, the South Korean military said on Wednesday.
The South Korean Inter-Arms General Staff indicated that “North Korea fired a ballistic missile unidentified towards the East Sea”, name given by the two Koreas to the Sea of Japan.
The Ministry of Defense of Japan also registered the re-fire of an apparent North Korean ballistic missile, in the first of its kind since June 15, indicating that it is gathering data to assess whether it presents any type of risk to its territory.
On Monday, Kim Yo-jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, warned the United States that Pyongyang would respond with “clear and forceful actions” to what he described as “air espionage” operations.
The regime’s deputy director of propaganda underlined that Washington’s actions are “clearly a serious violation of North Korean sovereignty and security.”
Kim Yo-jong stated that “a strategic reconnaissance aircraft of the US Air Force has again carried out aerial reconnaissance of the eastern part of the DPRK [República Popular Democrática da Coreia, o nome oficial da Coreia do Norte] entering the skies of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) above the Military Demarcation Line (MDL),” according to a statement carried by state news agency KCNA.
The device “performed a serious military provocation by carrying out aerial reconnaissance” over the waters of the North Korean EEZ, reaching about 400 kilometers from the southeastern coast of the country, he added.
After the failure of the 2019 denuclearization talks, tensions have risen again on the Korean peninsula. Pyongyang has rejected any dialogue initiatives and has carried out a record number of missile tests, while Seoul and Washington have resumed large joint military maneuvers and regularly deployed US strategic assets in the region.