North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea on Saturday, making it the fourth such “provocation” in less than a week, South Korea’s military said.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) of South Korea said it detected the launches from the Sunan area in Pyongyang between 6:45 a.m. and 7:03 a.m. and that the missiles flew some 350 kilometers (217 miles) at apogees of around 30 km (19 mi) at top speeds of Mach 6, according to Yonhap news agency.
North Korea’s escalation of the tension is thought to be in response to South Korea’s Armed Forces Day being marked today, as well as to a military drill by South, the US, and Japan in the East Sea.
“The recent series of North Korea’s ballistic missiles is an act of significant provocation that undermines peace not only on the Korean Peninsula, but also in the international community, and a clear breach of U.N. Security Council resolutions,” the JCS said in a text message sent to reporters.
In a statement, the US Indo-Pacific Command said the North’s move “highlights the destabilizing impact” of the North’s WMD and ballistic missile programs and reaffirmed Washington’s “ironclad” alliance with its Northeast Asian allies.
On Thursday, US Vice President Kamala Harris said the US will do “everything” in its power to ensure its security commitment to the Asian ally during a daylong visit to South Korea.