North Korea Strikes Again


Amany Nassar, News Editor

North Korea has launched 23 missiles in one day, the most that have been launched from the country to date. The launches began on Wednesday and have continued to Thursday night. These missile launches forced some cities in South Korea and Japan to go into lockdown. 


One of the missiles has been identified as the Hwasong-17, North Korea’s intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). The ICBM was successfully launched on March 24th, but this test was unsuccessful. The missile failed after separating at the second stage of the launch. North Korea has described the ICBM as a “powerful nuclear war deterrent.” 


Along with the ICBM three short-range ballistic missiles were launched on Wednesday. On Wednesday North Korea launched at least 23 short-range missiles that were different types. The missiles were launched to the east and west of the Korean Peninsula. Two ballistic missiles were flown over Japan and into the Sea of Japan. One missile landed 37 miles off the coast of the South Korean island Ulleng. Citizens were told to evacuate. Another missile landed 16 miles from the Northern Limit Line which is the first time this has happened since the end of the Korean war in 1953. 


“Continuous ballistic missile launches by North Korea is a serious act of provocation that harms peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula as well as the international community,” Joint Chiefs of Staff said following the launch of these missiles.These missile launches were in response to the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the United States extending their joint missile drills. This week’s drills named “Vigilant Storm” began on Monday and are the biggest drills using 240 warplanes and staging mock attacks 24 hours a day. 


“We reject the notion that they serve as any sort of provocation. We have made clear that we have no hostile intent towards the DPRK and call on them to engage in serious and sustained diplomacy,” said Adrienne Watson, the White House National Security Council Spokesperson. 


President Yoon Seok-Yul has called a meeting for the National Security Council and called out North Korea for its “unprecedented” missile launches that occurred during a period of national mourning after the Itaewon crowd crush. Pyongyang has said that these weapons tests are just “self defense” from the joint military drills they see as invasion rehearsal. 


South Korea has responded with missile launches using 15K and KF-16 fighter jets aimed at an area the same distance from the Northern Limit Line. 


North Korea has continued to test weapons and tensions on the Korean Peninsula are dangerously high. The U.S.and ROK have vowed to strengthen their partnership amid these tests. It is unclear what Pyongyang’s next steps will be and the international community is once again left on the edge of their seats.