South Korea and the U.S. fired eight ballistic missiles into the East Sea early Monday morning in response to a volley of eight short-range ballistic missiles North Korea launched the previous day.
It was the first matching show of force by the two allies in response to North Korean provocations, which have been getting ever more frantic this year even as the regime battles a coronavirus outbreak with scant resources.
"South Korea and the U.S. fired eight surface-to-surface missiles for about 10 minutes from 4:45 a.m. Monday" in response to the North's eight launches from multiple locations the previous day, the Joint Chiefs of Staff here said.
"The joint firing displayed the two allies' ability and readiness to maintain a round-the-clock surveillance and immediately strike with pinpoint accuracy any location where a provocation was launched," the JCS added.
"The North's nuclear weapons and missile programs have grown to a point where they are a threat to peace in Northeast Asia and the world as well as on the Korean Peninsula," President Yoon Suk-yeol said in a Memorial Day address Monday.
He pledged his government will "sternly respond to any kind of North Korean provocation."