North Korea said its missile test was a “planned” action against a direct military threat, media reports said Saturday.
“The missile test launch by the DPRK is a regular and planned self-defensive step for defending the country’s security and the regional peace from the US direct military threats that have lasted for more than half a century,” according to the South Korean news agency, Yonhap, citing Pyongyang’s state-run Korean Central News Agency.
DPRK, or the Democratic Republic of North Korea, is the official name of North Korea.
North Korea launched a missile Tuesday which flew above Japan and fell into the East Sea. It marked the first time that North Korea had fired a ballistic missile above the Japanese archipelago in five years.
Early Thursday, Pyongyang fired two more missiles after US forces conducted separate military exercises with Japan and South Korea in response to the firing Tuesday of a long-range ballistic missile by Pyongyang.
Last Saturday, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea.
North Korea’s escalation of tensions is thought to be in response to a joint military drill by South Korea, the US and Japan in the East Sea.
Pyongyang on Thursday also condemned the redeployment of a US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in South Korean waters and called it “a serious threat to the stability of the situation on the Korean peninsula.”
It accused the US of escalating military tensions on the Korean peninsula.
Tensions on the peninsula rose in 2020 when North Korea attacked and blew up the inter-Korean liaison office along the border. Seoul has threatened a strong response if Pyongyang “further worsens the situation.”
However, tensions soared further last year when Seoul and Pyongyang ramped up military drills to show off their might.