Kim's Sister Warns of 'Using the Pacific as Our Firing Range'

As North Korea carries out its 2nd weapons test in 3 days
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 20, 2023 12:15 AM CST
As North Korea Fires Missiles, Kim's Sister Rips US 'Maniacs'
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, Monday, Feb. 20, 2023. North Korea has fired a pair of short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast on Monday, South Korea's military said, two days after the...   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles off its eastern coast on Monday in its second weapons test in three days. South Korea's military said it detected the two missile launches from a western coastal town just north of Pyongyang. Japan said both missiles landed in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan and that no damage involving aircraft and vessels in the area was reported. According to Japanese and South Korean assessments, the North Korean missiles flew at a maximum altitude of 30-60 miles and a distance of 210-250 miles.

South Korea’s military said North Korea’s repeated missile launches are "a grave provocation" that undermine international peace, reports the AP. The US Indo-Pacific Command said the missile launches highlight "the destabilizing impact" of North Korea’s unlawful weapons program. It said the US commitments to the defense of South Korea and Japan "remain ironclad." The North said the launches involved its new 600 millimeter multiple rocket launcher system that could be armed with “tactical” nuclear weapons for battlefield use.

"The frequency of using the Pacific as our firing range depends upon the US forces’ action character," Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said in a statement carried by state media. Calling the United States "the worst maniacs," she said, "We are well aware of the movement of US forces’ strategic strike means, (which are) recently getting brisk around the Korean Peninsula."

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She could be referring to the US flyover of B-1B long-range supersonic bombers on Sunday for separate training with South Korea and Japan. The B-1B deployment came as a response to North Korea’s launch of the Hwasong-15 ICBM off its east coast on Saturday in the country’s first missile test since Jan. 1. North Korea is extremely sensitive to the deployment of B-1B bombers, which can carry a huge payload of conventional weapons. (More North Korea stories.)

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