North Korea fired four more short-range ballistic missiles into the western Yellow Sea on Saturday, the South Korean military said, according to reports.
The missile launch comes as the United States and South Korea wrapped up six days of military exercises, dubbed “Watchful Storm,” involving hundreds of military personnel, which Pyongyang argued was practice for a full-scale invasion.
SOUTH KOREA SCRAMBLES JETS AS NORTH KOREA LAUNCHES 180 FLIGHTS ACROSS BORDER
North Korea responded to these previously planned drills by launching dozens of short-range ballistic missiles and is suspected of attempting to deploy an ICBM in a failed test.
Washington and Seoul have expanded their joint military exercises in response to North Korea’s aggressive tactics.
Saturday’s launches began shortly after 11:30 a.m. in North Korea and lasted nearly 30 minutes, Reuters reported.
The short-range ballistic missiles traveled about 80 miles out to sea and reached an altitude of 10 miles.
US, SOUTH KOREA EXPAND AIR FORCE EXERCISES AFTER NORTH KOREA FIRES ICBM
Concerns have mounted that Pyongyang may be preparing to resume nuclear testing for the first time since 2017, with leaders of the world’s leading democracies calling on North Korea to “abandon” its nuclear program and “any other weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs.
The G7 on Friday urged “the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,] immediately stop its destabilizing activity, fully comply with all legal obligations under the relevant UNSCRs [United Nation’s Security Council Resolutions]and comply with international nuclear safeguards.
South Korea was forced to withdraw 80 military aircraft on Friday after Pyongyang deployed some 180 warplanes near the shared Military Demarcation Line dividing the two nations following the conclusion of the 1953 Korean War.
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North Korea demanded that the US and South Korea call off “provocative” air drills after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced Thursday that the drills would be extended to ensure US and Korean capacity. of the South “to fight tonight if necessary.
A North Korean foreign ministry spokesman issued a statement late Friday warning that “sustained provocation is bound to be followed by sustained response,” Reuters reported.