US warns North Korea it could increase ‘steps that are taken in response’ if it continues missile launches

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned that if North Korea continues “down this road” of provocation following its ballistic missile launch over Japan on Tuesday, “it will only increase the condemnation, increase the isolation and increase the steps that are taken in response to their actions.”

Blinken made the comments during a press conference in Santiago, Chile, as a part of his week-long trip to South America.North Korea fired a ballistic missile Tuesday that flew over and past Japan, causing Japan to warn its citizens to take shelter. Blinken condemned the latest missile launch, calling it “dangerous and reckless.”

“We strongly condemn the DPRK’s dangerous and reckless launch of a long-range missile that flew over Japan, endangering Japanese citizens,” Blinken said. “I spoke almost immediately to my Japanese and Korean counterparts, and I think you’ve seen that we are working very closely together, both on a bilateral basis but also on a trilateral basis, the United States, Korea and Japan, to demonstrate and strengthen our defensive and deterrent capabilities in light of the threat from North Korea.”

In response, the US conducted joint military exercises with both South Korea and Japan separately Tuesday. US Marine Corps fighters joined Japan Air South Defense Force fighters in a “bilateral exercise over the Sea of Japan on Oct. 4,” Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said Tuesday.

South Korea and the United States conducted multiple joint exercises in response, first with a precision bombing exercise Tuesday, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) announced in a statement.A South Korean F-15K fighter jet fired two Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) bombs at a virtual target in a firing range west of the Korean Peninsula, JCS said.

A JDAM is a precision guided air-to-surface weapon that employs GPS to hit high priority fixed and moving targets, according to the US Air Force.Then, the US and South Korea test fired four ATACMS ground to ground missiles off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula on Wednesday, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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