Daily Management Review

Missiles Fired and Seoul’s Assets Liquidated by North Korea in Retaliation to US-South Korean Army Drills


Missiles Fired and Seoul’s Assets Liquidated by North Korea in Retaliation to US-South Korean Army Drills
As South Korean and U.S. forces conducted massive war games on the sea, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea on Thursday in defiance of a U.N. Security Council resolution.
On Thursday, North Korea also announced that it would "liquidate" South Korean assets left behind in its territory and said that it has scrapped all agreements with the South on commercial exchange projects.
North Korea is developing long-range and intercontinental missiles in addition to a large stockpile of short-range missiles that is possess. South Korea's defense ministry said that the missiles fired on Thursday were likely from the Soviet-developed Scud series and they flew about 500 km (300 miles) off its east coast city of Wonsan.
A protest was lodged by Japan through the North Korean embassy in Beijing as Japan is within range of the longer-range variant of Scud missiles or the upgraded Rodong missiles, Japan's Kyodo news agency reported.
When tensions rise on the Korean peninsula, North Korea often fires short-range missiles. Claiming the yearly drills are preparations for an invasion, Pyongyang gets particularly upset about the annual U.S.-South Korea drills.
Since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armed truce instead of a peace agreement, the U.S. and South Korea remain technically at war with the North.
In what South Korea's Defence Ministry has called the "largest-ever" joint military exercises, around 17,000 U.S. military personnel are participating alongside some 300,000 South Korean troops.
It would make a "pre-emptive and offensive nuclear strike" in response to the exercises, North Korea warned on Sunday.
South Korean assets left behind in the Kaesong industrial zone and in the Mount Kumgang tourist zone would be liquidated, announced North Korea after Thursday's missile launches.
As punishment for the North's rocket launch and nuclear test, Seoul suspended operations in the jointly-run zone last month.
The first major inter-Korean cooperation project was Mount Kumgang. Between 1998 and 2008, thousands of South Koreans had visited the resort. after a North Korean soldier shot dead a South Korean tourist who wandered into a restricted zone in 2008, Seoul ended the tours in retaliation.
Following its recent nuclear test and long-range missile launch, the stepped up United Nations sanctions adopted last week has also made North Korea livid.
South Korea would refer the matter to the Council sanctions committee mandated to enforce the resolutions and said that Thursday's missile launches again violated a series of U.N. Security Council resolutions, said the country’s foreign ministry.
The situation on the Korean Peninsula was described as "complex and sensitive" by Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Hong Lei.
"All sides should stop their provocative words and deeds to avoid a further rise in tensions," he said.
Meanwhile, the North Korean state media quoted the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un saying on Thursday that his country has miniaturised nuclear warheads to mount on ballistic missiles. Kim Jong Un also called on his military to be prepared to mount pre-emptive attacks against the United States and South Korea.
Pictures of Kim Jong Un inspecting a spherical miniaturised warhead were released by North Korean state media. This claim which has been widely questioned and never independently verified had been made earlier too by the state media.