North Korea Threatens More Launches after Fourth Test in 12 Days
By Staff, Agencies
North Korea threatened Tuesday to carry out more weapons tests after it fired its fourth set of projectiles in less than two weeks following the start of joint exercises between the US and the South.
Meanwhile, the rising temperature on the peninsula threatens to derail putative negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington.
North Korea fired several unidentified projectiles off its east coast, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said to Yonhap News early Tuesday, just before slamming the South's military drills with the US calling it a "flagrant violation" of efforts to reach peace on the Korean peninsula and reflect a lack of "political will" to improve relations.
Pyongyang has always been infuriated by military exercises between the South and US, seeing them as rehearsals for invasion, but in the past it has tended to avoid carrying out missile tests while the war games were taking place.
The speed of its statement Tuesday was also unusual, coming within an hour of it carrying out its launch, rather than its usual practice of a day later.
The North fired "two projectiles that are assumed to be short-range ballistic missiles" from South Hwanghae province on its west coast, Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.
The projectiles flew around 450 kilometers across the peninsula and into the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan, reaching an altitude of 37 kilometers and a speed of "at least Mach 6.9", they said.
The launch is the fourth in less than two weeks as the United States remains at a stalemate with the regime.
Pyongyang, banned from ballistic missile launches under UN Security Council resolutions, said some were a "large-caliber multiple-launch guided rocket system."