Pyongyang and Seoul carry out missile tests just hours apart
South Korea tested its first submarine-launched missile, but denies it was a response to the North's provocations. Japan reports that North Korean rockets landed inside its exclusive economic zone. China's foreign minister was visiting Seoul.
Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The two Koreas tested ballistic missiles within hours of each other. Yesterday Pyongyang launched two ballistic missiles toward its east coast and a few hours later Seoul successfully tested its first submarine-launched ballistic missile, becoming the seventh country in the world to possess the technology.
South Korea said the test was not in response to the North's provocations, but was already planned. The launches took place while Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was visiting Seoul for talks with South Korean counterpart Chung Eui-yong.
According to the latest information, one of the two ballistic missiles launched by Pyongyang came from a train. "The rail-based missile system is an efficient means of counterattack" capable of responding to complex threats, the Korean Central News Agency reported.
Japan, which called the test "a serious threat to national security," later reported that the North Korean missiles landed inside Japan's exclusive economic zone.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said South Korea now has "sufficient deterrence to respond to North Korea's provocations at any time," and urged the country to continue developing programs to develop new weapons in order to "overwhelm North Korea's asymmetric power." The comments were criticized by Kim Yo-jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who described them as deplorable, and stressed that they could lead to a break in ties.
North Korea had also tested a long-range cruise missile last week, despite the country facing a severe economic crisis.