NORTH Korea on Tuesday (July 19) fired three ballistic missiles to show its displeasure over the plan of South Korea and the US to deploy an advanced missile defense system to protect SK from threats posed by the North’s ballistic missiles. North Korea’s firing of the missiles only served to prove SK’s and the US’ right to mount the advanced defense system.
The South’s military said the three NoKor projectiles were fired from Hwangju, south of North Korea’s capital Pyongyang, on Tuesday, between 5:45 a.m. and 6:40 a.m., and flew 310 – 370 miles until it fell into the sea off the eastern coast of the North. SK officials said the missiles were believed to be Scud-type short-range ballistic ones. Under United Nations Security Council resolutions, North Korea has been banned from developing ballistic missiles.
The missiles launched on Tuesday had ranges capable of covering most of South Korea, including Seongju, the town where the US and SK are planning to deploy the so-called Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, or Thaad, missile system.
Both the US and SK governments said the Thaad system was needed to help protect South Korea and American forces based in that region from North Korean ballistic missiles. With the choice of Seongju as a new Thaad base location, North Korea has been threatening to take a “physical counteraction.”
Of course, South Koreans angrily reacted to the firing of the three ballistic missiles—two short-range Skud Cs and one medium-range Rodong missile from North Hwanghae Province to the East Sea. SK media reminded readers that 10 days earlier, on July 9, Pyongyang had also shot a Musudan missile with a longer range of 3,000 – 4,000 kilometers (1,864 – 2,485 miles). It called the action “belligerent behavior” that “challenges the international community” and “constitutes an unabashed threat” to the South’s security.
They said the North’s missile “provocation,” in fact, served to justify the deployment of the Thaad in the South.
For, in fact, the Rodong missile fired is not easy for SK’s Patriot missiles to intercept but it can be shot down with the Thaad battery. That shows the correctness of deploying the Thaad system as a means of protecting SK from any unexpected missile attack from the North.
Our Department of Foreign Affairs yesterday released the following statement:
On the launch of 3 ballistic missiles by the Democratic Republic of North Korea on July 19
The Philippines strongly condemns the Democratic Republic of North Korea’s (DPRK) launch of three ballistic missiles on July 19. This action is yet another grave disregard by the DPRK of the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. Furthermore, the Philippines expresses serious concern at the increasing frequency of the DPRK’s missile launch incidents these past months. The Philippines reaffirms its call for the DPRK to observe UN Security Council resolutions, and to heed the international community’s call to immediately suspend all its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.