SEOUL — North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea on Saturday, the fourth such provocation in less than a week, according to South Korea’s military.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) stated it detected the launches from Pyongyang’s Sunan area about 6:45 a.m. and 7:03 a.m. and that the rockets flew for around 350 kilometers. at apogees of approximately 30 kilometers @ Mach 6 top speeds
The launches occurred only hours before South Korea was to attend an event commemorating Armed Forces Day, which would see major military weapons on display.
The South, the United States, and Japan had conducted an anti-submarine warfare exercise in the East Sea the day before.
“North Korea’s recent series of ballistic missile launches is an act of severe provocation that undermines peace not only on the Korean Peninsula, but also in the worldwide community, and a blatant violation of UN Security Council resolutions,” the JCS stated in a text message to reporters.
“Our military will maintain a robust readiness posture while observing and monitoring relevant movements in close conjunction with the US in preparation for additional provocations,” the statement continued.
JCS Chairman Gen. Kim Seung-kyum and South Korea-US Combined Forces Command Commander Gen. Paul LaCamera held virtual talks about the launches.
The US Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement that the North’s move “highlights the destabilizing consequences of the DPRK’s illicit WMD and ballistic missile programs.”
It reaffirmed Washington’s “ironclad” commitment to its Northeast Asian partners’ protection.
The most recent launches came after previous provocations on Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
On Thursday, US Vice President Kamala Harris visited South Korea for a day, meeting with President Yoon Suk-yeol and seeing the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).
During her visit, she stated that the United States would do “all” in its ability to ensure its security commitment to the Asian ally.