Seoul Issues Alert On National TV After North Korea Missile Lands Close To Its Waters

Seoul: One of the 10 missiles fired by North Korea on Wednesday, landed close to South Korea’s waters prompting President Yoon Suk-yeol to say that it was ‘effectively a territorial invasion’. An air raid warning for Ulleungdo flashed on national television and told residents to “evacuate to the nearest underground shelter.” South Korea also closed some air routes over the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan, advising local airlines to detour to “ensure passenger safety in the routes to the United States and Japan,” NDTV reported quoting news agency AFP.

The military said it was the “first time since the peninsula was divided” at the end of the of Korean War hostilities in 1953 that a North Korean missile had landed so close to the South’s territorial waters.

“(Yoon) pointed out today that North Korea’s provocation is an effective territorial invasion by a missile that crossed the Northern Limit Line for the first time since the division,” his office said in a statement.

The missile that was closest to South Korea landed in waters just 57 kilometres (35 miles) east of the South Korean mainland, the military said. The military released a statement describing the missile launch near South Korean territorial waters as “very rare and intolerable”.

“Our military vowed to respond firmly to this (provocation),” it added, the report said.

The South Korean military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff initially said it detected the launch of three short-range ballistic missiles. But it later announced North Korea had fired “at least 10 missiles of various types today towards the east and west”.

Yoon Suk-yeol called a meeting of the National Security Council over the launches, ordering “swift and stern measures so that North Korea’s provocations pay a clear price.” Japan also confirmed North Korean missile launches, with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida telling reporters he planned to call a “national security meeting as soon as possible,” according to the report.

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