The North promised to launch “fiercer” military responses to the U.S. strengthening its security commitment to its allies South Korea and Japan, and hours later, the North launched a ballistic missile toward its eastern waters, according to the South Korean military.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea stated in a brief statement that it had detected the launch from North Korea but did not provide any other information, such as the weapon’s flight path or landing location.
Choe Son Hue, the foreign minister of North Korea, issued a warning earlier on Thursday, saying that the recent agreement on the North reached the U.S.-South Korea-Japan summit will make tensions on the Korean Peninsula “more unpredictable.”
Choe’s remarks marked North Korea’s first formal response to President Joe Biden’s trilateral meeting with his colleagues from South Korea and Japan on Sunday in Cambodia.
The three leaders harshly denounced North Korea’s recent missile tests in their joint statement and promised to cooperate to increase deterrence.
Biden reiterated the U.S. commitment to protect South Korea and Japan with all available means, including its nuclear arsenal.
According to Choe, the situation on the Korean Peninsula will enter “a more unpredictable phase” due to the U.S.-South Korea-Japan meeting.
According to Choe, “North Korea’s military counteraction will be fiercer in direct proportion to how keen the U.S. is on the ‘bolstered promise of extended deterrence to its allies and how much they intensify provocative and bluffing military activity on the Korean Peninsula and in the area.
The United States and its vassal forces will face a more significant, concrete, and inescapable threat.
The United States will be aware that it is gambling, Choe said, adding that he did not specify what actions North Korea could take.
North Korea has firmly maintained that its recent weapons testing activities are legal military retaliations to what it regards as U.S. and South Korean military exercises, which it views as a pretext to launch strikes on the North.
According to Washington and Seoul, these drills are defensive.
In response to North Korea’s efforts to increase its nuclear and missile arsenals, South Korean and American forces have recently increased their routine training exercises and resumed trilateral training with Japan.
During such exercises, a U.S. aircraft carrier and the U.S. the first B-1B supersonic bomber since 2017.
Annual military drills between Seoul and Washington have been reduced or discontinued recently to support the country’s now-dormant diplomacy with North Korea and South Korea.