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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Tensions escalate as North Korea launches missile and minister plans visit to Russia

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SEOUL – ⁢The tension in the Korean peninsula continues to escalate as North Korea fired an apparent intermediate-range missile into​ the sea on ⁢Sunday, ​heightening​ concerns⁢ in the region. South Korea and⁢ Japan ‌reported the missile launch, which ⁤comes ​on the ⁢heels of Pyongyang’s recent launches⁢ of an intercontinental ballistic missile ‌and its first military ⁢spy‍ satellite.

North Korea has been ratcheting up pressure on Seoul in recent weeks,‌ declaring it ⁢the “principal enemy” and vowing to enhance ⁢its ability to deliver a nuclear strike on ‌the U.S. and America’s allies in the Pacific. The missile, launched from the area⁢ of Pyongyang around 2:55 p.m., flew about‍ 600 ⁤miles off the country’s east coast, according to South ‍Korea’s military.

The maximum altitude was at⁢ least 30 miles, and​ the​ missile appeared ‌to⁣ fall⁤ outside Japan’s exclusive ⁤economic zone, Japan’s defense ministry said, criticizing the launch as⁤ a‍ violation of United Nations resolutions. This latest provocation adds to the growing concerns about North Korea’s‍ military capabilities and ⁢its willingness to challenge international norms.

In a further development, North Korean​ soldiers brought⁤ heavy⁤ weapons⁤ back⁤ to the Demilitarized ‍Zone around the North-South border and restored guard posts that the two countries​ had demolished,⁤ after Seoul suspended part of a ⁤2018 military accord between the ⁢two Koreas in ⁣a ‌protest ​over Pyongyang’s launch⁤ of the spy⁢ satellite.

Amidst these developments, North Korea’s isolated government is forging closer ties with Moscow. Foreign ⁣Minister Choe Son Hui will visit ​Russia from Monday to⁣ Wednesday at the invitation of her counterpart Sergei Lavrov, the North’s KCNA news agency said on Sunday. This move has raised concerns about the deepening​ military ⁤relations ‍between Pyongyang and Moscow, especially in the context of global geopolitical tensions.

“Pyongyang’s‍ show of ‌force should be of concern beyond Seoul, as ‍its military cooperation ⁣with Moscow adds to the violence in Ukraine, and because it may be more willing to challenge the U.S. and its ⁢allies while​ global attention is fixed‍ on the ⁢Middle East,” said Leif-Eric Easley, an‍ international studies professor at Ewha ‌Womans⁢ University.

The U.S. ⁢State‌ Department on Thursday imposed sanctions on three⁣ Russian ‍entities and one individual involved in the transfer and⁣ testing of​ North Korea’s ⁤ballistic missiles for Russia’s use against Ukraine. This move underscores​ the ⁢growing international⁣ concern about the nexus between North Korea’s‍ military activities ‌and‍ its ties with‌ Russia.

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Truth Media Network
Truth Media Network
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