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South Korea issues air raid alert after North Korea fires more than 10 missiles

South Korea said North Korea has fired a total of more than 10 missiles off its eastern and western coasts. South Korea’s military said the missiles of various kinds flew toward the Korean Peninsula’s eastern and western coasts. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol called a meeting of the National Security Council over the launch, which analysts said was one of the most "aggressive and threatening" in many years.

South Korea issues air raid alert after North Korea fires more than 10 missiles gcw
First Published Nov 2, 2022, 10:44 AM IST

More than ten missiles were fired by North Korea on Wednesday, including one that President Yoon Suk-yeol described as "essentially a territorial invasion" when it fell not far from South Korean seas. The Northern Limit Line, the de facto maritime boundary between the two nations, was breached by one short-range ballistic missile, prompting an unusual warning for Ulleungdo people to take refuge in bunkers.

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.

An official statement read: "Yoon 'pointed out today that North Korea's provocation is an effective territorial invasion by a missile that breached the Northern Limit Line for the first time since the separation'."

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The launches occurred as North Korea intensified its harsh rhetoric, saying it would use nuclear weapons to make the US and South Korea "pay the most terrible price in history" for continuing extensive military exercises between its rivals.

According to the military, the missile that flew closest to South Korea fell barely 57 kilometres (35 miles) east of the country's mainland. In a statement, the military called the missile launch that occurred close to South Korean territorial seas "extremely uncommon and unacceptable." The statement continued, "Our military committed to respond decisively to this (provocation)."

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters he intended to convene a "national security conference as soon as feasible" after Japan confirmed North Korea's missile launches. Pyongyang's latest launch comes as Seoul and Washington stage their largest-ever joint air drills, dubbed "Vigilant Storm", which involve hundreds of warplanes from both sides.  The Vigilant Storm air drills were preceded by 12 days of amphibious naval exercises.

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