The latest: South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff says North Korea fired missiles which landed in the Sea of Japan. Multiple news outlets report that the suspected missiles were launched from the northwestern region of North Korea away from the border between North and South Korea. The joint chiefs said the launch came from a place close to Sino-ri, where North Korea is believed to have a base for medium-range missiles.
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reports that North Korea fired the first missile at 4:29 p.m. local time, and it flew approximately 260 miles before landing in the Sea of Japan. The other missile was fired about 10 minutes later and flew approximately 168 miles before landing in the sea. North Korea fired the missiles over its own populated areas, according to officials from the South. The Japanese Ministry of Defense said the projectiles did not land within their country’s waters.
According to NPR, the apparent missile test was carried out while a U.S. envoy on North Korea is in Seoul for an official visit. Defense officials from South Korea, Japan and the U.S. are holding their annual talks there now.
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On Saturday North Korea fired missiles as part of what Pyongyang calls a “tactical guided weapon.” The missile which was launched on Saturday is similar to a Russian Iskander missile, according to NPR. It’s considered to be a very accurate short-range missile which can hit targets at distances of over 150 miles. Saturday’s test was conducted on North Korea’s eastern coast.
The tests appear to be a statement that the North is continuing its weapons program as talks with the U.S. about de-escalation have broken down.
North Korea appears to be back to testing missiles. The South Korean missile said on Thursday that Pyongyang fired what appeared to be two short-range missiles. If the report is accurate, then it would be the second missile test in only five days.