Two days after the US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan docked in Busan for an exercise, South Korea’s military said on September 25 that North Korea had fired a short-range ballistic missile at its east coast.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) of South Korea reported that on April 25, at 6:53 a.m., North Korea launched a missile from or around Taechon, North Pyongan Province (local time). The declaration did not provide any additional information, but it did reaffirm that the South Korean military was still prepared to work closely with the US.
The coast guard also confirmed a launch that was thought to be a ballistic missile, according to information from the Japanese Ministry of Defense. According to the Japan Coast Guard, “Please keep an eye out for new information, ships. Please stay away from any identified strange objects and alert the Coast Guard instead.” It’s thought that the object fell outside of Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
Soon after, the missile’s convoluted trajectory and maximum altitude of around 50 km were reported by the Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada. Hamada reaffirmed that the missile did not interfere with air or marine transportation and that it did not fall into Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
The US Indo-Pacific Command reported being fully informed of the launch and in close contact with allies.
On September 24, a defence official from South Korea reported that military activity in North Korea had been picked up, suggesting that Pyongyang may be getting ready to test a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) off its east coast. Since Yoon Suk-Yeol became president of South Korea in May, North Korea has launched five missiles.
According to experts, North Korea has increased testing of missiles in recent months that are intended to be more manoeuvrable, fly at low altitudes, improve their ability to elude detection, and outperform missile defence systems in the area.
The United States is sending an aircraft carrier strike group to South Korea to take part in joint exercises with South Korean soldiers as North Korea launches a ballistic missile. A US aircraft carrier is making its first trip to South Korea since 2018 at this time.
390 kilometres south of Seoul, at the port of Busan, the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier battle group berthed. The guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville and the destroyer USS Barry are also part of the US battle group to Korea, in addition to the USS Ronald Reagan.
Furthermore, US Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to South Korea on September 29 as scheduled.
The Korean peninsula’s tensions are still rising the North Korean military is allegedly getting ready to perform its first nuclear test since 2017 as Western officials have frequently predicted it will do so in the upcoming months.
This year, North Korea has conducted a record number of weapons tests, including the first intercontinental ballistic missile launch since 2017.