The military said it was investigating what caused the “abnormal flight” of a missile that is a key weapon in South Korea’s preemptive and retaliatory strike strategies against North Korea.
The military said the test was intended as a show of force by South Korea and the United States, following North Korea’s launch of a nuclear-capable ballistic missile that crossed about japan early Tuesday in North Korea’s most provocative weapons demonstration in years.
The launch extended a record number of launches by North Korea this year as the country strives to develop a full nuclear arsenal capable of threatening the continental United States and its allies with the goal of being recognized as a nuclear state and wresting concessions. to those countries.
The South Korean military’s acknowledgment of the missile’s malfunction came hours after internet users raised the alarm about the explosion and posted videos on social media showing an orange ball of flame emerging from an area they described. like near the air force base.
Officials from the Gangneung fire department and city hall said emergency workers were dispatched to the air force base and a nearby military base in response to calls about a possible explosion, but were sent back by military officials.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said Tuesday’s joint drills with the United States also included the launch of four Army Tactical Missile System missiles and another Hyumoo-2 missile that flew successfully. On Tuesday, allies launched warplanes that fired weapons at a target off South Korea’s west coast.
North Korea has fired nearly 40 ballistic missiles in some 20 different launch events this year, taking advantage of Russia’s war against Ukraine and a deeper split in the UN Security Council to accelerate weapons development.
The United States, Britain, France, Albania, Norway and Ireland have called an emergency UN Security Council meeting over North Korea’s latest launch. Diplomats said it is likely to take place on Wednesday, but it is not certain whether it will be open or closed.