North Korea fires two missiles as second US submarine docks in South Korea

According to the South Korea military, the missiles travelled approximately 400 kilometres before splashing down in the East Sea.

Ji Da-gyum

Ji Da-gyum

The Korea Herald


People watch a TV report on North Korea's launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) toward the East Sea at Seoul Station on July 12, 2023. (Yonhap)

July 25, 2023

SEOUL – North Korea fired two ballistic missiles toward the waters off its eastern coast late on Monday night and early Tuesday, apparently in protest against the arrival of the US Navy’s nuclear-powered submarine in South Korea on Monday morning.

The two short-range ballistic missiles were launched from the area of the capital city of Pyongyang between around 11:55 p.m. on Monday and 00:00 a.m. on Tuesday, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

The missiles traveled approximately 400 kilometers before splashing down in the East Sea, the military said without providing further details.

“The detailed specifications of the missiles and additional activities (by North Korea) are being analyzed by the South Korean and US intelligence authorities,” the JCS said.

“Our military will monitor developments in preparation for further provocations by North Korea in close cooperation with the US.”

The missile launch occurred less than one day after the arrival of the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Annapolis at the South Korean naval base on Jeju Island on Monday morning.

The South Korean Navy stated that the port visit mainly aims to replenish military supplies during an operational mission. But South Korean and US navies have also been discussing staging combined military exercises, such as an anti-submarine warfare exercise, during the visit by the US submarine, a military official who wished to remain anonymous, according to The Korea Herald.

The dispatch of the USS Annapolis to the peninsula came only three days after the US Navy’s Ohio-class USS Kentucky made a four-day port visit to Busan, which ended on Friday. It is the first deployment of a US submarine — capable of launching ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads — in Korea since the early 1980s.

In an apparent protest against the deployment of the US strategic asset, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles from the capital city of Pyongyang toward the East Sea early morning on July 19. The missiles flew around 550 kilometers, reaching a distance equidistant from Pyongyang to the Busan port.

Additionally, North Korea fired several cruise missiles toward its western coast early on Saturday.

The latest missile launch marks the third one in less than a week.

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