North Korea fired at least 23 missiles into the sea on Wednesday. One of these missiles landed less than 60 kilometers off the coast of South Korea. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol described the incident as a ‘territorial seizure’. Reuters news.
This is the first time a ballistic missile has landed near the South’s waters since the division of the Korean Peninsula in 1945. In addition, North Korea also launched the maximum number of missiles in one day for the first time.
South Korea has issued a rare air strike warning and launched its own missiles in response.
The missile landed outside South Korea’s territorial waters but fell south of North Korea’s Northern Limit Line (NLL), a disputed inter-Korean maritime boundary.
South Korean warplanes fired three surface-to-surface missiles into the North Sea across the NLL, the South’s military said. The weapons include an AGM-84H/K SLAM-ER, an official said. It is a US-made ‘stand-off’ precision strike weapon that can fly up to 270 km with a 360 kg warhead.
The South’s missile launch comes after Yun’s office promised a ‘swift and firm response’.
“President Yoon Suk-yeol noted that North Korea’s provocative missile today penetrated the NLL border for the first time since the (inter-Korean) division,” the office of the president said in a statement. It is an effective indication of territorial possession.’
When asked whether the missile was flying towards southern territory, a senior presidential official said — ‘Strictly speaking, it did not land on our territory but under our exclusive economic zone under our jurisdiction.’