North Korea fires missile, vows ‘fiercer’ responses to U.S., allies

SEOUL, Nov 17 (Reuters) – North Korea fired a ballistic missile on Thursday as it warned of a “strong military response” to U.S. efforts to boost its security presence in the region and its allies. it, says Washington is taking “a gamble that it will regret.”.

South Korea’s military said the missile was launched from the east coast city of Wonsan at 10:48 am (0248 GMT). It was the latest in a series of such tests this year, and the North also fired hundreds of cruise missiles into the sea recently during exercises between South Korea and the United States, some of which they affected Japan.

The launch came less than two hours after North Korea’s foreign minister, Choe Son Hui, kicked off the latest three-way summit between the United States, South Korea and Japan. , during which the leaders condemned Pyongyang’s weapons tests and promised greater defense cooperation.

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In the talks, the President of the United States, Joe Biden, confirmed the commitment to strengthen the long deterrence and protect the two Asian allies with “full capacity”, including nuclear weapons.

Choe said the three countries’ “war attacks” had failed to control the North but would instead pose a “serious, real and unavoidable threat” to it.

“The enthusiasm of the US for the ‘strong proposal of extended deterrence’ to its allies and as they increase the provocative and degrading military operations… the DPRK’s military conflict will be very intense, Choe said in a statement issued by the official. KCNA news agency.

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He referred to his country by the initials of its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“The US will know very well that it is a gamble, which it will surely regret,” Choe added.

A spokesman for South Korea’s Ministry of Defense said that the trilateral meeting and their cooperation on long-term deterrence are aimed at countering North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats.

The United States has been saying since May that North Korea is preparing to conduct its first nuclear test since 2017, but its timing remains unclear.

Washington, Seoul and Tokyo said in a joint statement after the summit that Pyongyang’s nuclear test would prompt a “strong and decisive response.”

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Choe said the North’s military activities are “correct and controversial” in the US-led exercises.

South Korean Unification Minister Kwon Young-se, who handles internal affairs, said the North could postpone its nuclear test for some time, citing China’s political agenda.

“North Korea has also achieved some political results by revising its nuclear law in August, so it may not have immediate demands for a nuclear test,” Kwon said. said in an interview with Yonhap news agency released on Thursday.

Reporting on Hyonhee Shin; Additional reporting by Soo-hyang Choi; Organized by Jacqueline Wong, The Lincoln Festival and Gerry Doyle

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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