Tension continues to rise in the Korean Peninsula region. A ballistic missile fired by North Korea crashed into Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) on Saturday, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said. This shooting comes a few days before a joint simulation exercise between Washington and Seoul, the prospect of which provokes the ire of Pyongyang.
According to the Japanese Prime Minister, the ballistic missile fell “west of Hokkaido”, in Japan’s EEZ, which extends up to 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers) from its coast. Japanese Deputy Defense Minister Toshiro Ino earlier said the missile was expected to fall on Saturday evening about 200 km west of Oshima Island, off the northern island of Hokkaido.
“Strong and unprecedented countermeasures”
A first North Korean missile had already fallen into the Japanese EEZ last November, as part of a series of launches of unprecedented intensity. The year 2022 has indeed seen an increase in military tensions on the Korean peninsula and its neighborhood, as Pyongyang conducted a record series of weapons tests to consolidate the “irreversible” nuclear status it claims.
In response to this fire coming from North Korea, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, who took office in May 2022 promising to be tough on Pyongyang, has considerably intensified the holding of exercises. military with the United States, its key security ally. Saturday’s firing, the first in seven weeks, comes as the two partners prepare to conduct a simulation exercise next week in Washington to define the measures to be taken in the event of the use of nuclear weapons. by Pyongyang.
New North Korean Threats
But North Korea threatened on Friday February 17 to react with “unprecedented” force to the upcoming US-South Korean maneuvers, seeing it as preparations for an armed conflict. Pyongyang threatened the two allies with “countermeasures (…) strong and unprecedented” if they preceded these exercises.