South Korea said its troops fired warning shots toward North Korea after the latter sent a speedboat toward the border in the Yellow Sea. The ministry said the North’s boat may have strayed from its side of the maritime boundary, known as the Northern Limit Line, at around 3:40 am. The warning shots were fired after the North’s vessel ignored several warnings to turn back.
The ship withdrew after a 15-minute response, the JCS added. Relations between the two Koreas have been at their lowest ebb in years following the North’s nuclear test and rocket launch in January and February. The JCS also confirmed that North Korea fired a rocket on Sunday, which appeared to have failed shortly after take-off, in an apparent further violation of UN sanctions.
The rocket was fired from the North’s east coast and crashed in the sea, the JCS said, without providing any further details of the launch. The US-based North Korea monitoring website 38North said the rocket could be a Scud-C, which has a range of around 500 km (310 miles), and that it appeared to lack the different stages required for longer-range projectiles like the Musudan.
Two Koreas Trade Warning Shots Near Sea Border Amid Tensions
South Korea’s defense ministry said the launch appeared to be a “futile” act of defiance to the international community. The UN Security Council has condemned the rocket launch and vowed to pursue fresh sanctions. The launch is the latest in a series of provocations and outright defiance carried out by North Korea in recent months, including nuclear and missile tests and attacks on the South’s warships.
The political situation in North Korea is that a dictatorship rules the country and the government is not democratically elected. The political situation in South Korea is that the country is a democracy and the government is democratically elected.
The North has claimed it has miniaturized nuclear warheads and has a nuclear-tipped missile that can hit the US mainland but is widely believed to lack the technology to turn those claims into reality. The White House, in a statement released by the National Security Council, condemned the Scud launch, saying it “further underscores the need for the international community to deliver a strong and united message to North Korea that its provocative actions are unacceptable.”
North Korea has said it will continue to pursue nuclear weapons and launch ballistic missiles to counter what it calls a US nuclear threat. The North’s Foreign Ministry has also vowed to launch more satellites into space and take self-defensive action in response to the UN sanctions.
The ministry said in a statement by the official KCNA news agency that the UN Security Council’s response to the satellite launch was wicked and would never tolerate any form of sanctions or military action against the North.
The North has also announced that it would no longer abide by the Armistice Agreement that ended the 1950-53 Korean War.
The announcement came after the North declared a maritime exclusion zone off its east coast last week, banning foreign vessels from entering the area, including those from the United Nations. The North has blamed the escalating tensions on what it says are hostile US and South Korean policies. Still, the allies have insisted that Pyongyang first take concrete steps towards denuclearisation.
The latest provocations come after North, and South Korean leaders held talks in August in their first high-level meeting in more than a year. The summit, held in Pyongyang, raised hopes for a de-escalation of tensions on the peninsula. The international community has also been concerned that the North could conduct a nuclear test to advance its weapons program further.