Seoul, South Korea – A South Korean ballistic missile detonated and fell to the ground early Wednesday during a joint ammunition exercise with the United States, triggering panic among residents of a coastal town that is already under North Korea’s control. Were terrified of weapons testing.
The sound of the explosion and the subsequent fire led many residents of the coastal city of Gangneung to believe it was a North Korean attack, sparking a concern by the government and military to explain what had happened.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said no one was injured in the crash, which involved a medium-range Humu-2 missile that fell inside an air force base outside the city.
The military said it was investigating the cause of the “abnormal flight” of the missile, a fundamental weapon in South Korea’s deterrence and response strategies against Pyongyang.
The military said the test was aimed at a show of power by South Korea and the United States when North Korea on Tuesday launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile that passed over Japan in what was meant to be its most provocative weapon in several years. was the test.
The South Korean military acknowledged the damage and posted a video showing a ball of flames emanating from an area near an air force base, hours after Internet users reported the explosion.
The Gangneung fire department and city council said emergency teams were sent to an air force base and an army base in response to reports of a possible explosion, but military officials sent rescue teams back.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the exercise with the United States involved the launch of four Army Tactical Missile System projectiles and another Humu-2 missile that took off successfully.
The meeting is taking place at a time when tensions are rising on the peninsula.
Hours earlier on Tuesday, Allied warplanes fired weapons at a target on South Korea’s west coast.
North Korea has fired about 40 ballistic missiles during its nearly 20 tests this year, taking advantage of deep divisions within the UN Security Council to accelerate Russia’s war in Ukraine and weapons development.
The United States, Britain, France, Albania, Norway and Ireland have called an emergency Security Council meeting to discuss North Korea’s latest launch. Diplomats indicated it was possible the meeting would take place on Wednesday, but they did not know whether it would be open or closed.