N Korea fires short-range ballistic missiles

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2023

SEOUL: North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles on Monday, South Korea´s military said, the latest in a flurry of weapons tests that Pyongyang says are in response to major US-South Korea defence drills.

The two allies were conducting a joint amphibious landing exercise on Monday, days after concluding Freedom Shield, their largest combined military drills in five years. North Korea views such exercises as rehearsals for invasion, and has repeatedly warned it would take “overwhelming” action in response.

“Our military detected two short-range ballistic missiles fired from around Chunghwa area in North Hwanghae province from 07:47 am (2247 GMT) towards the East Sea,” South Korea´s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said, referring to the body of water also known as the Sea of Japan.

The missiles each flew around 370-km, it added, calling their launch a “serious act of provocation damaging peace and stability of the international community as well as the Korean peninsula”.

The Japanese defence ministry also confirmed the launch, with Japanese media citing officials as saying both missiles fell outside the country´s exclusive economic zone. North Korean state media last week said the US-South Korean military drills called for “stronger war deterrents”, including a “multi-faceted and offensive nuclear attack capability”.