Just four days after testing cruise missiles, North Korea on Thursday fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea (Sea of Japan), according to the South Korean military.
The missiles were fired from the North’s eastern town of Hamju, South Hamgyong Province early morning, the Yonhap News Agency reported.
“South Korean and US intelligence authorities are analyzing the projectiles in detail, weighing the possibility that they could be short-range ballistic missiles,” the agency quoted a US Joint Chiefs of Staff officer as saying.
On Wednesday, the South Korean military said that North Korea had fired two cruise missiles off the west coast on Sunday.
Cruise missiles are not banned under UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea, but ballistic missile tests are a violation of the resolutions.
The South Korean presidential office has summoned an emergency National Security Council meeting to discuss the situation, while the presidential place expressed “deep concern” over the latest projectile launch by its neighbor, the report said.
Reacting to the move, the US military said the launches show the threat the North poses.
“This activity highlights the threat that North Korea’s illicit weapons program poses to its neighbors and the international community,” said US Forces Korea spokesman Col. Lee Peters. “The US commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea remains ironclad.”
The latest launch came as the new Biden administration is set to complete a North Korea policy review, and follows a visit to Seoul by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.