North Korea fires 4 ballistic missiles
SEOUL: North Korea on Monday test-fired four ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan, Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) announced.
The four projectiles were launched from an area near North Korea’s Dongchang-ri long-range missile site at 7.36 a.m., and flew about 1,000 km, the JCS said in a statement.
“We estimate the North fired four ballistic missiles. We are conducting an analysis (with the US) on the missiles to determine their type and other specifications. It will take a while before we can come up with a final analysis (based on American satellite data),” the statement said.
Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn convened a National Security Council meeting after the launches, Yonhap News Agency reported.
Military officials raised the possibility that the projectiles could be intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of reaching the west of the US mainland if launched at a high angle.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said three out of four missiles fired by the North fell into Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), some 250 km west of Akita prefecture.
The latest provocation comes a day after the US said it may consider redeploying a tactical nuclear weapon in South Korea as a deterrent against growing nuclear and missile threats posed by the rogue regime.
On Friday, Pyongyang threatened to conduct more missile firings in response to the two-month-long Foal Eagle exercise between Seoul and Washington, which lasts through April.
In its latest provocations, Pyongyang launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile into the East Sea on February 12 to boast its military readiness and test the response from the new Donald Trump administration.
It was the first test-firing of a North Korean missile since Donald Trump became the American president on January 20.