Last Saturday, North Korea test-fired 30 short-range missiles off their east coast and into the Sea of Japan, according to reports from South Korea’s Joint Chief of Staff. “The missiles are estimated to have flown about 60 kilometres (37 miles),” a spokesman for the Joint Chiefs said. These new tests come after pleas from Seoul and Washington to stop “provocative actions.” The tests are assumed to be a show of force intended to express anger at the South’s joint military exercises with the United States. At the 2009 G-20 London Summit, U.S. President Obama called South Korea “one of America’s closest allies and greatest friends.”
“The North should stop actions that cause military tension and unnerve its neighbours,” Seoul spokesman Kim Min-Seok told reporters. “Provocative action made without any prior notifications. can pose significant danger to sea vessels and aircraft passing by the area,” he added. These latest test fires are North Korea’s sixth launch in just over a month. The missiles used are Soviet-era short range missiles, used in the 1960s. It’s been estimated that North Korea will likely test-fire all of their remaining Frog missiles in the near future.
— Charles Laing (@SpaceCharlieUK) March 23, 2014
These missile tests came as South Korea and Japan announced on Friday that their leaders will hold a summit with President Obama next week – in what the Telegraph calls a breakthrough agreement after Washington urged South Korea and Japan to mend their strained ties. The summit will mark the first formal talks between the country’s leaders in over a year. It’s reported that at the summit, North Korea’s nuclear program and the issue of nuclear non-proliferation is on the agenda for discussion.
Do you think South Korea and the United States should be concerned over these test-fires? Or is it more of the same intimidating actions of North Korea to appear threatening?
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