US warns North Korea it could increase ‘response measures’ if it continues missile launches



CNN

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has warned that if North Korea continues “down this path” of provocation following its ballistic missile launch on Japan on Tuesday, “it will only increase condemnation, increase isolation and increase action in response to their actions.” Blinken made the comments during a press conference in Santiago, Chile, as part of his week-long trip to South America.

North Korea fired a ballistic missile on Tuesday that flew over and over Japan, prompting Japan to warn its citizens to take cover. Blinken condemned the latest missile launch, calling it “dangerous and reckless”.

“We strongly condemn the DPRK’s dangerous and reckless launch of a long-range missile that flew over Japan, endangering Japanese citizens,” Blinken said. “I spoke almost immediately to my Japanese and Korean counterparts, and I think you saw that we work very closely together, both on a bilateral basis but also on a trilateral basis, the United States, Korea and Japan, to demonstrate and strengthen our defensive and deterrent capabilities against the North Korean threat.

In response, the The United States conducted joint military exercises with South Korea and Japan separately on Tuesday. U.S. Marine Corps fighters joined Japan Air South Defense Force fighters in a “bilateral exercise over the Sea of ​​Japan on Oct. 4,” Pentagon press secretary Brig. General Pat Ryder said on Tuesday.

South Korea and the United States conducted several joint exercises in response, first with a precision bombing exercise on Tuesday, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement.

A South Korean F-15K fighter jet fired two Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) bombs at a virtual target at a firing range west of the Korean Peninsula, the JCS said. A JDAM is a precision-guided air-to-ground weapon that uses GPS to hit high-priority stationary and moving targets, according to the US Air Force.

Next, the United States and South Korea fired four ATACMS surface-to-surface missiles off the eastern coast of the Korean peninsula on Wednesday, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The launch of ATACMS was intended to demonstrate that the United States and its allies have “the military capabilities ready to respond to provocations from the North,” said John Kirby, National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications on CNN.

“It’s not the first time we’ve done this in response to provocations from the North to make sure we can demonstrate our own capabilities,” Kirby said. “We want to see the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, he (Kim Jong Un) has shown no inclination to go in that direction, quite frankly he is going in the opposite direction by continuing to carry out these missile tests which are violations of security board resolutions.

Blinken reiterated that the United States had asked North Korea to engage in dialogue instead of pursuing provocative actions like these missile launches.

“We called on the DPRK to refrain from further provocations and engage in sustained and substantive dialogue. This is something we have been offering for several months. Unfortunately, the DPRK’s response has been to launch more missiles, but we are taking appropriate defense and deterrence measures with our allies and partners,” Blinken said.

The North Korean missile launched on Tuesday had a flight range of around 4,500 km (2,796 miles), an altitude of around 970 km (602 miles) and a top speed of around Mach 17, the chiefs said. South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). A declaration.

North Korea has now fired its largest ballistic missiles in a single year since Kim Jong Un took power in 2012, according to South Korea’s Unification Ministry and a CNN tally. Tuesday marks the 23rd launch this year, including both ballistic and cruise missiles.

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