Seoul: South Korea and the US fired eight ballistic missiles into the East Sea on Monday in response to North Korea’s missile launches the previous day, according to the South’s military.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said the allies launched the ground-to-ground Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missiles from an eastern coastal region in Gangwon Province starting at 4:45 a.m. for around 10 minutes, Yonhap news agency reported.
On Sunday, the North shot eight short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) from four different locations into the East Sea following a South Korea-US naval exercise last week involving an American aircraft carrier.
“The South Korea-US combined firing of the ground-to-ground missiles demonstrated the capability and posture to launch immediate precision strikes on the origins of provocations and their command and support forces,” the JCS said in a press release.
“Our military strongly condemns the North’s series of ballistic missile provocations and seriously urges it to immediately stop acts that raise military tensions on the peninsula and add to security concerns,” it added.
The North’s weekend salvo is presumed to have involved a variety of SRBMs, including the KN-23 missile modeled after Russia’s Iskander ballistic missile. The KN-23 is known for its “pull-up maneuver”, designed to avoid interception.
Seoul officials have warned that Pyongyang’s military “provocations” will be met with “corresponding” reactions.
Shortly after the North’s launch of three ballistic missiles, including an apparent intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), on May 25, the South and the US conducted combined missile launches in their first such joint move since 2017.