North Korean fighter jets have fired missiles off the North’s east coast, Staff NZ reported on Tuesday quoting South Korea defence official’s statement.
An unspecified number of air-to-surface missiles toward the North’s eastern waters was fired on Tuesday, Seoul official said. According to South Korea, their northern neighbour has launched several fighter jets after it conducted suspected cruise missile tests on April 14. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, citing department rules.
In fact, the launches came on the eve of the 108th birthday of North Korea’s late founder, Kim Il Sung. Thus, the grandson Kim Jong Un showed his gratitude and respect to the predecessor. However, Seoul worries as well that the launched missiles also came a day ahead of South Korean parliamentary elections.
The firing missiles came after North Korea fired several suspected cruise missiles off its east coast, as South Korea’s military suppose. Tuesday’s NK’s activity is the latest in a slew of weapons launches by Pyongyang despite worries about a possible coronavirus outbreak in the country.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the projectiles – presumed to be cruise missiles – were fired from the North’s eastern Kangwon province on Tuesday morning before flying toward the country’s eastern sea.
North Korea continues its missile launching despite the claims of neighbours
In recent weeks, North Korea has carried out a series of short-range missile and other weapons tests amid stalled nuclear talks with the United States.
Most of the weapons tested were ballistic missiles or long-range artillery shells, and it’s unusual for North Korea to launch a cruise missile.
In fact, all the tested weapons were still short-range and didn’t pose a direct threat to the US mainland. A test of a missile capable of reaching the US homeland would end North Korea’s self-imposed moratorium on major weapons tests and likely completely derail nuclear diplomacy with the White House.
Some experts say North Korea likely used the latest weapons launches to bolster its striking capability against South Korea, which has been introducing US-made stealth F-35 jets and other sophisticated conventional weapons systems in recent years. Others say the latest weapons tests were also aimed at shoring up internal unity in the face of US-led sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic.