North Korea Provokes South with 2 Additional Missiles

kpopluv, March 3, 2014, 2:05 p.m.

North Korea seems to have fired an additional 2 short-range missiles into nearby waters off their east cost just this Monday. These missiles are seen as provocations from the communist country reacting to ongoing joint military drills between South Korea and the United States.

The missiles were fired from the Gitdaeryeong area, as well as the Wonsan region, both on the Southeastern coast of North Korea.  "The missiles are evaluated to have flown over 500 kilometers," stated ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok during a briefing. The missiles fired are believed to be Scud-C type.

This latest provocation would mark the 2nd such event to take place in just the past week. Last Thursday, the North fired off 4 Scud missiles in the same area.  Pyongyang has condemned U.S.-South Korean joint drills as a rehearsal for invasion of the communist nation. These drills take place annually between the two countries.

"North Korea is taking a two-faced approach, showing the reconciliatory peace gesture on the surface, while launching provocations on the other hand," stated the spokesman. "We sound a serious warning to North Korea, urging it to stop provocations."

The spokesman also stated that these missile launches are in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, which ban the use of ballistic missile technology.

"In light of the border trespassing and short-range missile launches, South Korean and U.S. forces have stepped up their surveillance status to closely watch the North Korean military's latest moves," Kim stated. "We are ready to strike back if provoked."

South Korea is concerned that these missile launches could cause tension between inner-Korean relations, which is slowing becoming better following the reunion of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.

"Considering that the North fired the missiles into the sea, it is deemed a low-level provocation," stated a senior military official. "But it is worrisome that (the missile launch) could negatively affect inter-Korean relations when hopes are high for better ties in light of the family reunions."

Aspects of the joint military drills will come to an end this Thursday, but field training involving 7,500 American troops will continue through April 18th.

The North had issued similar provocations during last year’s drills, prompting the U.S. to issue out high-profile nuclear bombers and stealth jets to remind Pyongyang the U.S. is prepared to respond to any of their provocations.

"The United States is stepping up military provocations, going against the tide of peace and eased tension on the Korean Peninsula," detailed an editorial passed in the paper. "The U.S. does not welcome improved inter-Korean ties and is conducting all forms of maneuvers to intensify confrontations between the two Koreas."

Disregarding rising tensions, the United States has issued nuclear-powered submarine USS Columbus (SSN-762) and the 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge to join in the participation of drills with South Korea.  

Roughly 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea in order to help protect the South from North aggression. The two Korea’s technically remain in a state of war, as they halted the Korean War 60 years ago in a ceasefire, and not a peace treaty. 

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