North Korea and South Korea, on Wednesday, recorded a series of missile exchanges near each other’s coasts in a marked escalation of hostilities.
North Korea had fired at least 23 missiles and a barrage of artillery shells while South Korea replied with three air-to-ground missiles over the disputed maritime demarcation line.
According to South Korea’s military, one of the first 17 missiles flew in the direction of a South Korean island before it landed near the sea border between both countries.
The development prompted South Korea to issue an aerial raid alert on the island.
Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) has said North Korea is “fully responsible” for the escalation of the situation.
“Our military’s precise strike showed our will to firmly respond to any North Korean provocations including short-range ballistic missile, and our capability and readiness to precisely target the enemy,” JCS said.
The North Korean missile launch came as Pyongyang, its capital, threatened to retaliate against ongoing South Korea-US military drills that it views as an invasion rehearsal.
North Korea had also threatened to use nuclear weapons to get the US and South Korea to “pay the most horrible price in history”.
The White House had maintained that the US has no hostile intent towards North Korea and vowed to work with allies to curb the country’s nuclear ambitions.
South Korea was in the news recently following a weekend Halloween tragedy that saw more than 150 people killed in a crowd surge in Seoul in what was said to be the country’s biggest disaster in years.