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South Korea & US Fire 4 Surface-To-Surface Missiles In Rare Response To North's Launch

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Oct 04, 2022 - 10:38 PM

Update(1838ET): The United States and South Korea have "answered" Tuesday's ultra-provocative North Korean launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile which flew directly over Japan, triggering nationwide emergency alerts warning Japanese citizens to take shelter. 

Yonhap news is reporting that allied militaries of S.Korea and the US have now launched 4 surface-to-surface missiles into the East Sea, in a clear and rare "response to the provocation" from Pyongyang, during the overnight hours (local time). There are simultaneous though unconfirmed reports that one of the South Korean missiles may have failed or crashed soon after launch:

Rumors had already been circulating for hours prior to Seoul revealing the new missile launches in response, amid ongoing joint military drills with the US, of a large explosion or fire at the south's Gangneug Airbase.

Could the two be directly related, or coincidence? There's still very little confirmed at this point.

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Hours after North Korea launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile that soared over Japan for the first time since 2017, Japanese and US military warplanes carried out a joint exercise in response to Pyongyang's recklessness, according to South China Morning Post, citing Japanese officials. 

"As the security environment surrounding Japan grows increasingly severe, including North Korea's launch of a ballistic missile that flew over Japan, the Self-Defence Forces and the US military conducted a joint exercise," the Joint Staff said in a statement.

Eight Japanese and four US fighter jets conducted war drills in airspace west of Kyushu, the southwesternmost of Japan's main islands. There were no further details in the statement about what defensive maneuvers the fighter jets were exercising. 

Joint Staff continued: Forces "confirmed their readiness and demonstrated domestically and abroad the strong determination of Japan and the United States to deal with any situation." 

Earlier in the day, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida held immediate discussions with the head of the US Indo-Pacific Command, Admiral John Aquilino, about the missile launch. 

Ahead of the joint exercise, Kishida told reporters Tokyo and Washington would "conduct a joint drill" to show they're "taking swift action."

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the North's missile flew 2,800 miles, hitting an altitude of approximately 603 miles. The missile was launched around 0723 local time on Tuesday from the North's Chagang province, which borders China. 

As the missile flew over Japan, reaching speeds of March 17, the government issued warnings for citizens, urging everyone in the country to seek shelter as a ballistic missile was headed their way. The missile flew for 22 minutes and past northern Japan before plunging into the Pacific Ocean. 

"This is an outrageous act following the recent repeated launches of ballistic missiles and we strongly denounce it," Kishida said. 

North Korea has conducted more than 20 missile tests this year, more than any other year. The Kim Jong Un regime seems angry as they recently rejected denuclearization talks with the US and South Korea. 

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