North Korea fired two ballistic missiles into the east sea on Saturday, South Korea’s military said, the fourth launch in a week as Pyongyang continues its provocative streak on the Korean Peninsula.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said that North Korea fired the two short-range ballistic missiles between 6.45 a.m. and 7.03 a.m. (local time) from the Sunan area of Pyongyang, Yonhap News Agency reported.
Japan’s Defense Ministry said the missiles flew about 350 to 400 kilometers (217 to 249 miles) at an altitude of 60 kilometers (37 miles) before landing outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
Japanese senior vice defense minister, Toshiro Ino, told reporters that Japan had protested against North Korea’s missile testing through the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, Kyodo News reported.
The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said that while the launches did not pose an immediate threat to the United States or its allies, they highlighted the “destabilizing impact” of North Korea’s unlawful ballistic missile programs.
“We are aware of the two ballistic missile launches and are consulting closely with our allies and partners,” the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement. “The U.S. commitments to the defense of the Republic of Korea and Japan remain ironclad.”
Kamala Harris Visit
It was North Korea’s fourth missile launch this week, following earlier launches on Sept. 25, Sept. 28, and Sept. 29 in an apparent show of defiance against U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to South Korea this week.
Harris also visited the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas and reaffirmed the U.S. “ironclad” commitment to defending its allies in the region. North Korea launched two ballistic missiles hours after Harris departed South Korea on Thursday.
North Korea’s latest launch came after the United States, South Korea, and Japan launched their first trilateral anti-submarine drills in five years near the Korean Peninsula on Friday.
The drills involved the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, Japan’s Asahi-class destroyer, and South Korea’s Munmu the Great destroyer, among others.
South Korean commander Capt. Cho Choong Ho said the drills were designed to enhance their combined capabilities against “enemy submarine threats.”
“We will continue such realistic high-intensity exercises so that we can react decisively and overwhelmingly against any form of provocations,” Cho said.
North Korea has conducted a series of missile launches this year, including one involving its largest intercontinental ballistic missile, the Hwasong-17, all of which are banned under U.N. Security Council resolutions.
Washington said it has attempted to engage North Korea in dialogue for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, but the Kim Jong Un regime has responded only with provocations.
From The Epoch Times