Both North and South Korea fired ballistic missiles on Wednesday, September 15, increasing tensions in an already hostile Korean peninsula.
North Korea fired the first missiles on Wednesday, sending two into waters off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula five minutes apart, at 12:38 p.m. and 12:43 p.m. local time (11:38 p.m. and 11:43 p.m. ET), according to Japan, who labeled the action as ‘dangerous’
South Korea, the North’s neighbor that houses tens of thousands of US troops, replied less than three hours later with their own submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM)
The South Korean missiles were fired, from a new submerged 3,700-ton submarine ROKS Dosan Ahn Changho, South Korea’s Defense Ministry said, also revealing that South Korean President Moon Jae-in was present for the test.
The missile hit its target accurately, the ministry said without giving more details.
South Korea’s weapons development, and its missile capabilities has been on an upward trend as they become more wary of the growing missile program in North Korea.
Wednesday’s missile tests from both Koreas came just a few hours after Moon met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Seoul.
China exerts some influence over North Korea, and during the meeting, Moon said Pyongyang has not been responding to efforts by Seoul and Washington to engage in dialogue concerning the situation on the peninsula
In May, South Korea’s Moon and US President Joe Biden agreed to end a 40-year-old bilateral agreement that limited the range and payload of South Korean missiles
With the missile launch, South Korea becomes the seventh military in the world to successfully test an SLBM
The other SLBM nations have nuclear weapons, although South Korea does not have nuclear weapons.