WASHINGTON — North Korea test-fired at least one short-range, and most likely two, projectiles in what South Korea called “a military threat and an action undermining efforts to alleviate tensions on the Korean Peninsula.”
Pentagon officials confirmed initial reports from South Korea about the firings and they appear similar to projectiles that were launched in May.
The missiles fired Wednesday headed toward the Sea of Japan, also known as the east Sea. That is the same location where South Korean fighters twice intercepted a Russian military aircraft for violating South Korean and Japanese air space on Tuesday.
According to news reports, the two projectiles traveled about 265 miles and 428 miles after being fired from near the eastern coastal city of Wonsan.
Earlier this week, North Korean media ran photos of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un admiring a submarine that media accounts claimed could fire a nuclear missile.
The new missile tests came as National Security Adviser John Bolton is visiting South Korea for bilateral discussions regarding the Japan-South Korean trade impasse. They come after the Pentagon announced new military exercises on the South Korean peninsula.
The also come after Kim and President Donald Trump met in June at the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea, and agreed to resume stalled nuclear negotiations.
On Monday, Trump told White House reporters that North Korea’s freeze in testing nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, which has been in place since 2017, is a positive. “Again there’s no nuclear testing, there’s no missile testing, there’s no nothing,” Trump said then.