North Korea Promises Serious Threat, Then Fires Missile

US, South Korea respond with missile defense drills
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2022 7:52 AM CST
North Korea Promises Serious Threat, Then Fires Missile
A TV screen shows a file image of North Korea's missile launch during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Hours after calling US efforts to increase its security presence in the Asia Pacific a "gamble it will regret," North Korea on Thursday launched what South Korean officials say was yet another short-range ballistic missile, fired eight days after the last. Launched Thursday from the eastern city of Wonsan, the missile flew 149 miles, reaching an altitude of 29 miles, before landing in the sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, per the AP and Al Jazeera. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, which condemned the launch, noted the US and South Korea carried out missile defense drills in the aftermath.

Two hours before the launch, North Korea Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui had slammed Sunday's meeting between leaders of the US, South Korea, and Japan, which focused on aggressive displays from the North. The three countries vowed to work together on deterrence, while President Biden said the US would defend its two allies with a "full range of capabilities," per Reuters. Choe said the countries' "war drills for aggression" wouldn't restrain North Korea but instead bring a "more serious, realistic and inevitable threat" upon the alliance.

"The keener the US is on the 'bolstered offer of extended deterrence' to its allies and the more they intensify provocative and bluffing military activities," the "fiercer" the response will be, Choe said. The US has warned since May that the North is preparing to conduct a seventh nuclear test—its first since 2017. However, in a statement released Thursday, South Korea Unification Minister Kwon Young-se said the test could be delayed on account of China, its closest regional ally, per Reuters. Biden urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to talk the North out of such a test at their meeting on Monday, per the Guardian. (More North Korea stories.)

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