SEOUL, Nov 17 (Reuters) – North Korea fired a ballistic missile on Thursday as the United States warned of a “strong military response” to U.S. efforts to increase its security presence in the region with its allies, saying Washington was taking a “gamble it will regret.” “
South Korea’s military said the ballistic missile was fired from the North’s east coast city of Wonsan at 10:48 a.m. (0248 GMT). It was the latest in a record number of such tests this year, and the North fired hundreds of artillery shells into the sea in recent drills by South Korea and the United States, some of which included Japan.
The broadcast came less than two hours after North Korean Foreign Minister Cho Son Hui denounced a recent trilateral summit between the United States, South Korea and Japan, during which the leaders criticized Pyongyang’s weapons tests and pledged more security cooperation.
US President Joe Biden in discussion Commitment confirmed To strengthen extended deterrence and defend two Asian allies “at full capacity” with nuclear weapons.
Cho said the three countries’ “war drills for aggression” had failed to rein in the North but would instead pose a “more serious, realistic and unavoidable threat” to itself.
“The more eager the US is on a ‘stronger offer of extended deterrence’ to its allies, and the more they intensify provocative and blustering military operations … the more intense the DPRK’s military resistance will be,” Cho said in a statement from the official. KCNA news agency.
She referred to her country by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“America will know it’s a gamble, which it will surely regret,” added Cho.
A spokesman for South Korea’s defense ministry said the tripartite summit and their cooperation on expanded deterrence are aimed at countering the North’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 the actual timing remains unclear.
Washington, Seoul and Tokyo said in a joint statement after the summit that Pyongyang’s nuclear test would require a “strong and decisive response”.
Cho said the North’s military activities were a “legitimate and justified response” to the US-led drills.
South Korean Unification Minister Kwon Young-se, who handles intra-Korea affairs, said the North could postpone its nuclear test for some time, citing China’s domestic political timetable.
“North Korea has also achieved some political results by codifying its nuclear law in August, so it may not have an immediate need for a nuclear test,” Kwon said in an interview with Yonhap news agency released Thursday.
Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Additional reporting by Soo-Hyang Choi; Editing by Jacqueline Wong, Lincoln Feist and Gerry Doyle
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