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US may escalate reprisals against North Korea over new missiles

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US may escalate reprisals against North Korea over new missiles

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned that if North Korea continues “on this path” of provocation after the launch of a ballistic missile over Japan on Tuesday, “it will only increase condemnation, increase isolation and will increase the measures taken in response to your actions.”

Blinken made the comments during a press conference in Santiago, Chile, as part of his week-long trip to South America.

North Korea fired a ballistic missile on Tuesday that flew over and passed Japan, prompting Japan to warn its citizens to take cover. Blinken condemned the latest missile launch, calling it “dangerous and reckless”.

“We strongly condemn the DPRK’s dangerous and reckless launch of a long-range missile that flew over Japan, endangering Japanese citizens,” Blinken said.

“I spoke almost immediately with my Japanese and Korean colleagues, and I think you can see that we are working very closely, both bilaterally and trilaterally, with the United States, Korea and Japan to demonstrate and strengthen our defensive and deterrent capabilities in light of the threat from South Korea. North”.

In response, the US conducted joint military exercises with South Korea and Japan separately on Tuesday. US Marine Corps fighters joined Japan Air Defense Force South fighters in a “bilateral exercise over the Sea of ​​Japan on October 4,” said Pentagon Brig Press Secretary General Pat Ryder. on Tuesday.

South Korea and the United States have carried out several joint exercises in response, first with a precision bombing exercise on Tuesday, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) announced in a statement.

A South Korean F-15K fighter jet fired two Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) bombs at a virtual target at a shooting range west of the Korean Peninsula, the JCS said. A JDAM is a precision-guided air-to-surface weapon that employs GPS to hit high-priority fixed and mobile targets, according to the US Air Force.

Then, the US and South Korean test fired four ATACMS land-to-land missiles off the east coast of the Korean peninsula on Wednesday, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The launch of ATACMS was to demonstrate that the US and allies have “the military capabilities ready to respond to provocations from the North”, he told the CNN John Kirby, National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications.

“This isn’t the first time we’ve done this in response to provocations from the North to ensure we can demonstrate our own capabilities,” Kirby said.

“We want to see the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, he (Kim Jong Un) has not shown an inclination to move in that direction, frankly he is moving in the opposite direction, continuing to carry out these missile tests which are security breaches, council resolutions ”.

Blinken reiterated that the US has asked North Korea to engage in dialogue rather than continue with provocative actions like these missile launches.

“We urge the DPRK to refrain from further provocation and engage in sustained and substantive dialogue. This is something we proposed many months ago. Unfortunately, the DPRK’s response was to launch more missiles, but we are taking appropriate defense and deterrence measures with allies and partners,” Blinken said.

The North Korean missile launched on Tuesday had a flight distance of about 4,500 km, an altitude of about 970 km and a top speed of about 17 mach (20,000 km/h), the Joint Chiefs of Staff said. (JCS) of South Korea.

North Korea has fired its most ballistic missiles in a single year since Kim Jong Un took power in 2012, according to South Korea’s Unification Ministry and a tally by the North. CNN. Tuesday’s marks the 23rd launch this year, including ballistic and cruise missiles.

Source: CNN Brasil

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