NKorea fires three ballistic missiles; China opposes THAAD

NKorea fires three ballistic missiles; China opposes THAAD

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un celebrates the launch of a submarine-based missile in August. - CNN

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un celebrates the launch of a submarine-based missile in August. – CNN

((CNN) North Korea fired three ballistic missiles Monday morning, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The missiles were fired from areas around Hwangju country, in North Hwanghae province, towards the Sea of Japan, the Joint Chiefs said in a statement.
This comes just under two weeks after Pyongyang test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile. That missile entered Japan’s air defense identification zone, the first time that has happened.It also comes at a potentially embarrassing time for North Korea’s only real ally, China, which is currently hosting the Group of Nations summit in Hangzhou.
At the G20, Chinese President Xi Jinping told his South Korean counterpart on Monday that Beijing opposes the deployment of the United States’ THAAD missile defense system to South Korea, according to China’s official Xinhua News Agency.
“Mishandling the issue is not conducive to strategic stability in the region and could intensify disputes,” Xinhua quoted Xi as telling Park Geun-hye.
alJazeera adds: North Korea has fired three ballistic missiles off its east coast, according to South Korea’s military, in a show of force apparently timed for the ongoing G20 economic summit in China.
South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff said in a statement on Monday that the three missiles, launched from the western North Korean town of Hwangju, flew across the country before splashing in the waters off its east coast.
The officials did not describe the range of the missiles.
Al Jazeera’s Adrian Brown reporting from the sideline of the G20 summit in Hangzhou said: “this latest incident came as China expressed unhappiness over Seoul’s threats to deploy an anti-missiles defence shield in response to Pyongyang’s continued attempt to refine and perfect its nuclear missile programme.”
“China regards this missile defence shield as a threat to its soverignty. But we have got a reminder this morning of why South Korea feels so vulnerable.” Brown said.
Earlier on Monday, speaking on the sidelines of the G-20 summit, South Korean President Park Geun-hye criticised the North for what she called provocations that are hurting South Korea-China ties.
The launch comes four days before the 68th anniversary of the founding of North Korea’s government, and just days after South Korean and US troops ended annual joint military drills, which North Korea regularly describes as a dress rehearsal for invasion.
North Korea regularly engages in missile and rocket tests, especially when international attention is turned to Northeast Asia.
World leaders are gathering for the G-20 summit of advanced and emerging economies in the city of Hangzhou in eastern China.
China is the North’s only major ally, but ties between the neighbours have frayed amid a number of nuclear and missile tests and what many outsiders see as other provocations in recent years.
Last month, worries about the North’s weapons programmes deepened after a missile from a North Korean submarine flew about 500km, the longest distance achieved by the North for such a weapon.
The UN Security Council in late August strongly condemned four North Korean ballistic missile launches in July and August.
It called them “grave violations” of a ban on all ballistic missile activity. – Agencies


Comments are closed.