North Korea on Saturday fired two projectiles presumed to be short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea, according to South Korea’s military.
It was the latest in a series of short-range missile tests the nuclear-armed nation has carried out in recent weeks in protest against US-South Korean military exercises, which it sees as a rehearsal for invasion. The latest joint drill wrapped up on Tuesday.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff in a statement said, “The military detected two unidentified projectiles presumed to be short-range ballistic missiles”.
The missiles flew about 380 kilometres (240 miles) and reached an altitude of 97 kilometres at a top speed of Mach 6.5 before landing in the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan, it said.
“Our military is tracking the movement in the North in case of additional launches, with firm readiness,” the statement added.
Saturday’s firings marked the seventh round of such launches since July 25 when the North broke a 17-month hiatus and started firing missiles and projectiles to test new weapons and protest the South-US joint military exercise that it has long denounced as a rehearsal for invasion.
The North is believed to use these launches to test new types of short-range missiles, including its versions of the Iskander and the US’ Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS).
The South Korean military also noted that it will share its confidential information on the latest launches with Japan upon Tokyo’s request under the framework of the bilateral intelligence-sharing pact of the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA).
In Washington, a senior government official said the US was aware of the latest missile launches and was closely monitoring the situation in cooperation with its allies.