Photos show North Korean leader watching missile launch

North Korea’s state media released on Tuesday (March 7) pictures of leader Kim Jong Un supervising military preparations and a test launch of four missiles.

KRT reported that the launch was planned by an army unit commissioned with attacking U.S. military bases in Japan, stepping up threats against Washington as U.S. troops conduct joint military exercises with South Korea.

The four ballistic missiles were fired into the sea northwest of Japan on Monday (March 6), angering South Korea and Japan, days after North Korea promised retaliation over the military drills which it sees as preparation for war.

The missiles were unlikely to have been intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs)  which could reach the United States, South Korea said. They flew on average 1,000 km (620 miles) and reached an altitude of 260 km (160 miles).

Some landed as close as 300 km (190 miles) from Japan’s northwest coast, Japan’s Defence Minister said.

The United States and Japan have requested a United Nations Security Council meeting on the launches, which will likely be scheduled for Wednesday (March 8), diplomats said.