After Sending Balloons Filled With Manure, Kim Jong Un's North Korea Fires 18 Missiles In Warning To South Korea

North Korea has launched a significant number of missiles in a show of force, escalating tensions in the region.

What Happened: North Korea launched 18 short-range ballistic missiles on Thursday, guided by leader Kim Jong Un, according to Reuters.

North Korea’s state news agency KCNA reported that the missiles were fired as a demonstration of its readiness to launch a pre-emptive strike against South Korea if necessary. The missiles were launched from 600mm “super-large” multiple rocket launchers.

South Korea detected at least 10 of these missiles off its east coast and suggested the launch might be a display for potential weapons buyers, including Russia. Both Russia and North Korea have denied any arms deals, which would breach U.N. embargoes on Pyongyang.

KCNA stated that the artillery troops successfully hit a target island approximately 365 km away, with Kim Jong Un overseeing the drill. Photos from state media showed 18 missiles, identified by experts as KN-25s, being launched from mobile platforms.

The U.S. State Department condemned the launch as reckless and a violation of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions. South Korea’s government also condemned the missile launch, warning of strong counter-measures if North Korea continues its provocations.

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Why It Matters: The missile launch comes amid heightened tensions between North and South Korea. Just a day before the missile launch, South Korea accused North Korea of sending balloons filled with trash and excrement across the border, a move seen as a provocative act by Pyongyang.

Moreover, North Korea’s recent failed attempt to launch a spy satellite, reportedly with Russian assistance, has added to the regional instability. This failure was followed by North Korea informing Japan about the launch of a satellite rocket, which was believed to be another spy mission.

Additionally, North Korea’s foreign relations have been under scrutiny, particularly after Kim Jong Un’s minister, who has worked on North Korea’s relations with Syria, visited Iran amid ongoing Middle East tensions.

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This story was generated using Benzinga Neuro and edited by Kaustubh Bagalkote

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Posted In: NewsPoliticsGlobalKaustubh BagalkoteKim Jong UnNorth KoreaSouth Korea
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