SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into its eastern waters on Friday, South Korea’s military said, its latest weapons display days after U.S. and South Korean warplanes conducted joint exercises, North Korea said. believes that. invasion rehearsal.
In a statement from the Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea, the South Korean military detected a missile launch from North Korea’s central region at around 16:32. It said that the South Korean military has strengthened its observation position and is maintaining readiness in close coordination with the United States.
The United States on Tuesday launched nuclear-powered bombers and advanced stealth aircraft near the Korean Peninsula for joint exercises with South Korean warplanes. South Korea’s Defense Ministry said the exercises were part of a bilateral agreement to increase the U.S. commitment to defend its Asian ally with all its military capabilities, including nuclear weapons.
North Korea usually calls such military exercises by the US and South Korea rehearsals for an invasion, but the allies have said they have no intention of attacking the North.
The South Korea-US drills come after North Korea recently claimed it had conducted key tests needed to develop its first military spy satellite and a new strategic weapon.
North Korea said on Sunday it had launched a pair of rockets to test cameras and other systems to develop its first military intelligence satellite. Its state media has published aerial images of South Korean cities.
Some civilian experts in South Korea and elsewhere said the images were too crude for surveillance and that the launches could have been a cover for testing North Korea’s missile technology. South Korea’s military says North Korea has fired two medium-range ballistic missiles.
Such assessment angered North Korea, and the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un spoke harshly of unidentified South Korean experts. Kim Yo Jong said there was no reason to use an expensive camera for a single-shot test, and that the North Korean space agency had used two old rockets as launch vehicles.
North Korea has tested missiles this year, including nuclear ballistic weapons, aimed at hitting the US mainland and its allies South Korea and Japan. North Korea said it was forced to conduct such tests in response to previous military exercises between the US and South Korea.