The launches occurred only hours after the South Korean military reported the arrival of the USS Annapolis, a nuclear-powered US submarine, to a port on Jeju Island.
The Annapolis is fueled by a nuclear reactor but equipped with conventional weaponry; its primary purpose is the destruction of enemy ships and submarines. Jang Do Young, a spokesman for the South Korean military, said that the US and South Korean armies were debating whether to schedule training with the submarine while it was parked at Jeju to load supplies.
The USS Kentucky, the first US nuclear-armed submarine to visit South Korea since the 1980s, arrived in the region days before the Annapolis arrived.
An angry North Korean response followed the arrival of the USS Kentucky. Pyongyang warned that further deployments of this kind may satisfy the conditions for the use of nuclear weapons. It also seemed to show off its nuclear attack capabilities by test-firing ballistic and cruise missiles towards South Korea and US navy warships.
A British lieutenant general named Andrew Harrison is the UN Command’s deputy commander. He declined to comment on the status of the Korea or reveal about Private Travis condition.
“I am an optimist in life and I remain optimistic,” Harrison remarked during a press conference in Seoul.
North Korea “acknowledged” receiving the UN message last week, but has not offered any more information or reacted further since then, according to State Department spokesman Matthew Miller in Washington, DC.
As Miller put it, “there have been no new contacts since last week,” and neither North Korea nor US civilian or military authorities have reacted to signals delivered by the US.
After being released from a South Korean jail for an assault conviction, King was meant to go to Fort Bliss, Texas, but instead crossed into North Korea on a tour of Panmunjom.
A senior administration official in Washington, DC, claimed on Monday that the United States still does not know the extent of King’s injuries. When asked whether the United States government had a clearer picture of King’s intentions about his defection, an official said that there was “no indication about what was going on in his mind that day.” The official talked on the condition of anonymity because he or she was not permitted to speak publicly about the matter.
The timing of King’s crossing could not have been worse, as tensions on the Korean Peninsula have been rising steadily as North Korea has stepped up the pace of its weapons displays and the United States and South Korea have stepped up their joint military drills.
North Korea has fired over a hundred missiles since the beginning of 2022, and Kim Jong Un, the country’s leader, personally witnessed the launch of the Hwasong-18, a solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile, in early July.
Meanwhile, the United States and South Korea have boosted the scale of their joint military drills and the number of bombers, aircraft carriers, and submarines stationed in the area.
Since no peace treaty was ever signed after the Korean War (1950-53) between the two Koreas, hostilities continue to this day.
This Thursday marks 70 years since the signing of their armistice.
North Korea celebrates the date as victory day for the “great Fatherland Liberation War,” and is expected to hold massive celebrations, including a military parade in the capital, Pyongyang, while South Korea will anniversary ceremonies the dead, with invited foreign war veterans.
On Monday, the state-run Korean Central News Agency of North Korea said that the deputy chairman of the standing committee of the National People’s Congress of China, Li Hongzhong, would be leading a Chinese delegation to the festivities.