March 10, 2016: North Korea has fired two short-range missiles into the sea according to South Korea’s military. The missiles were launched off the east coast and flew for 500km before they fell into the sea.
The two missiles were fired from Hwanghae Province in a move that is seen as a reaction to recently imposed strictest sanctions ever by the UN.
He launch was accompanied by an announcement by Pyongyang that nullifies all inter-Korea cooperative projects and liquidation of South Korea’s assets in North Korea. Most of South Korea’s assets are in Kaesong industrial area (jointly-operated industrial zone) which the South pulled out of in February 2016 after Pyongyang launched a Long range missile.
The missile launch comes barely a day after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un claimed that his scientists had developed nuclear warheads small enough to fit on ballistic missiles (miniaturized nuclear warheads).
Tensions have been especially high this week as US and South Korean forces hold their annual joint military exercises known as Key Resolve and Foal Eagle. This year they are the largest ever, with about 17,000 US personnel and around 300,000 South Korean troops participating – both significant increases on 2015, in addition to increased naval and air force assets.
Despite the routines generally creating tensions, this years’ particularly Pyongyang has threatened to launch a ‘pre-emptive nuclear strike of justice’ against the US and South Korea.