North Korea Fires Missile Barrage Toward its Eastern Waters

Visitors use binoculars to see the North Korean side from the unification observatory in Paju, South Korea, Thursday, May 30, 2024. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Visitors use binoculars to see the North Korean side from the unification observatory in Paju, South Korea, Thursday, May 30, 2024. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
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North Korea Fires Missile Barrage Toward its Eastern Waters

Visitors use binoculars to see the North Korean side from the unification observatory in Paju, South Korea, Thursday, May 30, 2024. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Visitors use binoculars to see the North Korean side from the unification observatory in Paju, South Korea, Thursday, May 30, 2024. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

North Korea on Thursday fired a barrage of suspected ballistic missiles toward its eastern sea, according to South Korea’s military, days after its attempt to launch a military reconnaissance satellite ended in failure.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said it detected the North firing around 10 projectiles that appeared to be short-range ballistic missiles from an area near its capital, Pyongyang. It said the suspected missiles flew around 350 kilometers before landing in waters off the North’s eastern coast. It said the South Korean military has increased surveillance and vigilance and is closely sharing information with the United States and Japan.

Japan’s coast guard issued a maritime safety advisory over the North Korean launches and urged ships to exercise caution if they find any fallen objects. Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters that the suspected missiles were believed to have landed in waters outside of Japan's exclusive economic zone and there were no immediate reports of damages. He said Tokyo “strongly condemns” the launches, which are in violation of UN Security Council resolutions against the North.

The United States called on North Korea to stop "further unlawful and destabilizing acts.”

While condemning the launch, the US Indo-Pacific Command said it was consulting closely with the South Korea, Japan and other regional allies and partners.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have increased in recent months as the pace of both North Korea’s weapons testing and South Korea’s combined military exercises with the United States and Japan have intensified in a cycle of tit-for-tat.

Thursday’s launches came after North Korea flew hundreds of trash-carrying balloons toward the South since Tuesday night in retaliation against South Korean activists flying anti-North Korean propaganda leaflets across the border. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had warned of unspecified “overwhelming actions” against South Korea after it staged an aerial exercise involving 20 fighter jets near the inter-Korean border hours before North Korea attempted to launch its second military reconnaissance satellite.

The rocket exploded shortly after liftoff, but Kim has urged his military scientists to overcome the failure and continue developing space-based reconnaissance capabilities, which he described as crucial for monitoring US and South Korean military activities and enhancing the threat of his nuclear-capable missiles.



Canada Navy Patrol Ship Arrive in Cuba on Heels of Russian Warships

The Canadian Navy patrol boat HMCS Margaret Brooke enters Havana's bay, Cuba, June 14, 2024. REUTERS/Stringer
The Canadian Navy patrol boat HMCS Margaret Brooke enters Havana's bay, Cuba, June 14, 2024. REUTERS/Stringer
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Canada Navy Patrol Ship Arrive in Cuba on Heels of Russian Warships

The Canadian Navy patrol boat HMCS Margaret Brooke enters Havana's bay, Cuba, June 14, 2024. REUTERS/Stringer
The Canadian Navy patrol boat HMCS Margaret Brooke enters Havana's bay, Cuba, June 14, 2024. REUTERS/Stringer

A Canadian navy patrol ship sailed into Havana early on Friday, just hours after the United States announced a fast-attack submarine had docked at its Guantanamo naval base in Cuba, both vessels on the heels of Russian warships that arrived on the island earlier this week.
The confluence of Russian, Canadian and US vessels in Cuba - a Communist-run island nation just 145 km (90 miles) south of Florida - was a reminder of old Cold War tensions and fraught ties between Russia and Western nations over the Ukraine war, Reuters said.
However, both the US and Cuba have said the Russian warships pose no threat to the region. Russia has also characterized the arrival of its warships in allied Cuba as routine.
The Admiral Gorshkov frigate and the nuclear-powered submarine Kazan, half submerged with its crew on deck, sailed into Havana harbor on Wednesday after conducting "high-precision missile weapons" training in the Atlantic Ocean, Russia's defense ministry said.
Canada`s Margaret Brooke patrol vessel began maneuvers early on Friday to enter Havana harbor, part of what the Canadian Joint Operations Command called "a port visit ... in recognition of the long-standing bilateral relationship between Canada and Cuba."
Hours earlier, the US Southern Command said the fast-attack submarine Helena had arrived on a routine port visit to Guantanamo Bay, a US naval base on the tip of the island around 850 km (530 miles) southeast of Havana.
"The vessel's location and transit were previously planned," Southern Command said on X.
Cuba`s foreign ministry said it had been informed of the arrival of the US submarine but was not happy about it.
"Naval visits to a country are usually the result of an invitation, and this was not the case," said Vice Foreign Minister Carlos Fernández de Cossío.
"Obviously we do not like the presence in our territory (of a submarine) belonging to a power that maintains an official and practical policy that is hostile against Cuba."
A Canadian diplomat characterized the Margaret Brooke`s arrival as "routine and part of long-standing cooperation between our two countries", adding it was "unrelated to the presence of the Russian ships."
Russia and Cuba were close allies under the former Soviet Union, and tensions with Washington over communism in its "backyard" peaked with the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Moscow has maintained ties with Havana.
When asked what message Moscow was sending, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday the West never appeared to take notice when Russia sent signals through diplomatic channels.
"As soon as it comes to exercises or sea voyages, we immediately hear questions and a desire to know what these messages are about," Zakharova said. "Why do only signals related only to our army and navy reach the West?"
The Russian warships are expected to remain in Havana harbor until Monday.