North Korea fired more projectiles into the sea on Friday hours after deriding South Korea for taking part in ongoing military drills with the U.S. It was the latest in a series of launches since July 25 that have included the test firing of a new missile system, CBS News reported.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said at least two projectiles were launched from an area on the North’s eastern coast.
The projectiles were not immediately identified, but CBS News’ Jen Kwon said South Korean media reports suggested they appeared to be missiles based on Russia’s 9K720 Iskander, a mobile short-range ballistic missile system. Projectiles launched on July 31 and August 2 were believed to have been an upgraded version of this missile system.
Shortly before news of the latest launches, North Korea’s government released a statement via state-run news outlet KCNA condemning joint military exercises by South Korea and the U.S., and saying Kim Jong Un’s regime believes there is “nothing more to talk about with the South Korean authorities,” and that it has no more “plans to sit with them.”
A senior Trump administration official said the U.S. was “aware of reports of a missile launch from North Korea, and we continue to monitor the situation. We are consulting closely with our Japanese and South Korean allies.”
Japan’s Defense Ministry said the North Korean projectiles did not reach the country’s territorial waters or its exclusive economic zone.
Kwon said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe confirmed the new launches, but said they did “not affect the security of Japan.” Abe added that he would “make every possible effort” to protect his people, working in close cooperation with the United States and other regional countries, CBS News added.
South Korea’s presidential office said national security adviser Chung Eui-yong presided over an emergency National Security Council meeting about the launches, and President Moon Jae-in was briefed on the developments.