Published: 2024-01-24 16:17
Last Updated: 2024-02-25 11:02
The South Korean military announced that North Korea launched several cruise missiles toward the Yellow Sea on Wednesday - as reported by AFP.
“Our military detected several cruise missiles launched by North Korea toward the Yellow Sea around 7 a.m. today,” The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff stated in a release.
"The details are being analyzed in detail by South Korean and American intelligence," It added.
Pyongyang has accelerated weapons tests in 2024, including tests of what it calls an "underwater nuclear weapons system" and a solid-fuel ballistic missile exceeding the speed of sound.
Testing cruise missiles is not prohibited under current UN sanctions on Pyongyang - unlike ballistic missiles.
Cruise missiles are powered by jet fuel and fly at lower altitudes than more advanced ballistic missiles, making them harder to detect and intercept.
The recent launch coincided with South Korea conducting a 10-day special forces exercises off its east coast "in light of the grave security situation" with North Korea, continuing until Thursday, according to the South Korean Navy.
Last week, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un declared that South Korea is its “primary enemy" and dismissed calls for meditation - threatening war if violations of the border "by 0.001 mm” occur.
“If North Korea starts a war, it will face the end of its regime,” Defense Minister Suh Wook said, "If the Kim Jong-un regime makes the worst choice of starting a war… we will protect South Korea and eliminate their leadership in the shortest possible time and end their regime."
In an earlier political meeting, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un stated that North Korea would not recognize the maritime border between the two countries, calling for constitutional changes that would allow North Korea to "occupy" Seoul in the event of war.