North Korea warns any move to intercept test missiles would mean war

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un/Shutterstock Images

A statement on Tuesday, 7 March by Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, has warned that any attempt to intercept and shoot down its test missiles would be considered “a declaration of war.”

A South Korean media report said the United States planned to shoot down Pyongyang’s intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) if the weapons were test-launched towards the Pacific Ocean.

The US and its allies have never shot down any North Korean ballistic missiles—typically launched at steep angles to avoid neighbouring countries—but the question has drawn fresh scrutiny since Pyongyang said North Korea would fire more test missiles over Japan.

Recent weeks have seen military drills and manoeuvres in the region from both the allies and isolated North Korea.

The US and South Korean militaries are preparing to revive their largest exercises later this month.

The field training exercises, known as Warrior Shield FTX, will include amphibious landings and run alongside the Freedom Shield exercise, a computer-simulated command post training aimed at strengthening defence and response capabilities.

Kim Yo Jong warned on Tuesday that North Korea was ready to take “overwhelming” actions against the drills.

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