SEOUL: North Korea fired four short-range ballistic missiles into the West Sea on Saturday morning, South Korea’s military said, with the missiles flying about 130 kilometers (80 miles) at an altitude of about 20 kilometers (12 miles).
North Korea launched a series of missiles this week, including a potentially failed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), drawing condemnation from Washington, Seoul and Tokyo and raising speculation it may be ready to resume nuclear tests for the first time since 2017.
Saturday’s launch, carried out between 11:31 a.m. and 11:59 a.m. KST, came as the United States and South Korea concluded a six-day storm warning exercise that began on Oct. 31.
According to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, the joint military exercise involved about 240 military aircraft and two US B-1B strategic bombers.
This is the first time since 2017 that B-1Bs have been deployed in US-South Korea exercises, which “demonstrate the joint defense capability and determination of the Republic of Korea and the United States to respond firmly to any provocation by North Korea,” the US’s willingness to implement its firm commitment to enhanced deterrence. ” JCS said in a statement.
North Korea calls for US sanctions to be enforced after ICBM launch
Pyongyang on Friday demanded the US and South Korea stop “provocative” air drills. South Korea said it scrambled warplanes in response to 180 North Korean military flights near the countries’ shared border on Friday.
On Wednesday, North Korea fired a daily record 23 missiles, one of which landed off the coast of South Korea for the first time.
The UN Security Council has been divided in recent years over how to deal with North Korea, and in May, China and Russia vetoed a US-led push for more UN sanctions in response to North Korea’s missile launch.