Seoul: North Korea fires suspected artillery pieces into sea
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By Hyung-jin Kim Associated Press
June 12, 2022, 11:11 AM
SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea test-fired suspected artillery pieces into the sea on Sunday, South Korea’s military said, days after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for greater defense capability to cope with outside threats.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that it detected several flight trajectories believed to be North Korean artillery on Sunday morning. It said South Korea maintains a firm military readiness in close coordination with the United States amid boosted surveillance on North Korea.
During a national security council meeting convened to discuss the suspected launches, South Korean officials expressed concern that North Korea is upgrading weapons systems that pose a direct threat to South Korea and reaffirmed they would sternly deal with such North Korean efforts, according to South Korea’s presidential office.
This AP news report is the only report in English that I could find so far. It categorizes the firing as “artillery” projectiles. This may be an attempt to minimize the incident earlier today because elsewhere on Korea language social media and youtube it is described as unguided rocket launches (mrls) into the west sea, probably less than 300mm, namely 122mm and 240mm. The firings took place from 8:07 am to 11:03am local time June 12. AP reports the South Korean NSC convened to discuss the episode.
According to unofficial social media sources including one operated for the benefit of president Yoon’s wife Kim Gon-hee, she and her husband went to the theater today to watch the movie Broker and mingle with the “people.” A youtube political pundit I follow said that Yoon had taken the weekend off for “ordinary activities.”
There is a military agreement between North and South Korean negotiated by the prior Moon administration, that prohibits military drills in the West Sea 50km north of the Northern Limit Line (NLL) which basically is the maritime extension of the Line of Demarcation at the center of the DMZ on land. There is no indication of whether or not these unguided rocket salvos violated that agreement.
This is from a post I wrote in Sept 2018 after the maritime restrictions on military operations in the West Sea were adopted:
(Source JTBC News 9.27)
JTBC News has entered the discussion concerning the military agreement providing for the buffer zone in the West Sea on behalf of the current South Korean administration and Ministry of National Defense. According to their report, the buffer zone restrictions on military activities in the zone do not affect the NLL as the boundary of the respective states’ maritime territory at all. Additionally, as shown by the chart above, the effect of restrictions on training and operations is far greater on the much more extensive shoreline of North Korea within the zone. The restriction on the use of artillery in the buffer zone is proportionately much greater on North Korea, which has many more artillery assets deployed in the coastal region. The effect on naval maneuver in the zone is felt to be minimal because such exercises can readily take place outside the zone.
June 13, 2022 at 6:44 PM #491219
June 13, 2022 at 7:55 PM #491228soryangParticipant
- Total Posts: 2,534
Washington Post article on yesterday’s North Korean MRLS salvos fired into the West Sea claims they were artillery shells.. The article really only vaguely refers to the rocket salvos before going on to earlier ballistic missile testing by North Korea. The article doesn’t seem to be behind a paywall. Yet VOA Korea reported the testing clearly as repeated MRLS firings of 122 mm and 240 mm rockets in at least five salvos over a 3 hour period in the morning. (Guess they didn’t get the memo). The South Korean JCS didn’t publish the incident for ten hours. The president of South Korea went on a “popcorn date,” with his wife, for another well publicized photo op. South Korean Democratic Party sources are confirming that he did not attend the NSC meeting that morning. Later the president said the tests weren’t a threat to the South Korean people. Yet these rocket systems are the most likely threat to Seoul and the forward areas within 50 km or more of the dmz. The North Korean rocket barrages Sunday also raise the question of whether the military buffer zone agreement affecting the maritime region around the Northern Limit Line in the West and East Seas was violated. The agreement prohibits military operations in the West Sea up to 50 kilometers north of the NLL. Not discussed anywhere.
This is the second time Yoon failed to attend an NSC meeting prompted by a serious and provocative action by North Korea. He’s incompetent. He’s still acting like he’s on the campaign trail rather than doing his job. He hasn’t reacted at all to climbing inflation in South Korea, nor has his party proposed any legislation.
This is the link at VOA Korea, which is in Korean, that gives a fairly straight rendition of the ROK JCS public statement:
방사포 means MRLS, not artillery shells. There is even a picture. VOA goofed because typically they want to paint as bad of a threat situation with North Korea as they can. But by doing so here, they are actually depicting at least in part, the true situation to which Yoon failed to react. Likewise, conservative MSM in South Korea are also trying to paper over this huge lapse in Yoon’s governing ability.
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