The U.S. and South Korea conducted precision bombing drills after North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan on Tuesday.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered five ballistic missile tests over the past 10 days, with several coinciding with Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to South Korea last week. Tuesday’s flight was the first time the northern regime had fired a missile over Japan in five years, however.
Both U.S. and South Korean warplanes took part in a bombing run using JADAM precision bombs following the incident.
Secretary of State Tony Blinken also condemned North Korea’s actions as “reckless and dangerous,” saying he had several calls with South Korean and Japanese officials to coordinate a response.
The launch posed an “unacceptable threat to the Japanese public,” the State Department wrote in a Tuesday statement.
“Secretary Blinken, [South Korean] Foreign Minister Park Jin and [Japanese] Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa strongly condemned the launch and its blatant disregard of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions and its deeply destabilizing implications for the region,” the statement continued.
Tuesday’s launch flew more than 2,800 miles, the longest flight from a North Korean missile in months, according to White House National Security Council coordinator John Kirby. The U.S. is still assessing the flight information to determine what kind of missile the regime fired, Kirby told Fox & Friends.
North Korea fired three ballistic missiles in the lead-up to Harris’ visit to Seoul last week, which coincided with extensive joint military drills between the U.S. and South Korea.
The USS Ronald Reagan, one of the U.S. Navy’s most powerful assets, participated in the three days of exercises.
Harris reaffirmed U.S. commitments to South Korea during a visit to the Korean DMZ. The U.S., South Korea and Japan have long cooperated to keep Kim’s regime in check and also counter China’s aggression toward Taiwan.
“I cannot state enough that the commitment of the United States to the defense of the Republic of Korea is iron-clad and that we will do everything in our power to ensure that it has meaning in every way that the words suggest,” Harris said last week.
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