North Korea received a strongly worded reprimand and warning following multiple launches of short- and long-range missiles over South Korea and into the Sea of Japan.
The Thursday warning to North Korea came as a joint statement from the United States and South Korea.
The message warned Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un that “any use of nuclear weapons would result in the end of Kim Jong Un’s regime,” according to Fox News.
On Wednesday, North Korea fired 20 missiles as the U.S. and South Korea conducted joint air force exercises in the region, which were scheduled in response to previous missile launches and aggressive posturing by North Korea.
Several missiles flew over Japan, which triggered alarms and panic. Multiple reports noted that North Korea’s Wednesday ICBM failed — unable to keep its trajectory, the missile fell into the sea. South Korean officials stated there were no injuries or damage to buildings.
Fox News reports that North Korea has grown “increasingly aggressive since the U.S. and South Korea began joint military exercises in September.”
In addition to multiple missile launches in recent weeks, North Korea also flew 12 warplanes near the South Korean border in early October. South Korea responded to the move by sending 30 warplanes. There were no engagements, but the provocative move fueled tension between the two Koreas.
One of the ramifications of rising tension in the region is that the joint U.S. and South Korea’s air force exercise, dubbed Operation Vigilant Storm, was extended at least one week.
Following North Korea’s Wednesday missile launches and several thinly veiled threats to use nuclear weapons, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and South Korean Defense Minister Jong-Sup Lee released the following statement:
“Any nuclear attack against the United States or its Allies and partners, including the use of non-strategic nuclear weapons, is unacceptable and will result in the end of the Kim regime.”
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