North Korea fires 3rd ballistic missile test in less than a weektext_fields
Seoul, South Korea: South Korea's (SK) military informed that North Korea (NK) fired two ballistic missiles on Thursday. The launch was the third in a week, and it happened hours after US Vice President Kamala Harris departed from SK, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.
According to the SK military, the launch of two short-range ballistic missiles happened from the Sunchon area in South Pyongan province.
Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that their military had enhanced monitoring and surveillance as well as maintained readiness in coordination with the United States.
Further, Japan's coast guard also confirmed the likely firing of the ballistic missiles from NK and cited information from its defence ministry.
The NK launched projectile has fallen outside Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone, Public broadcaster NHK reported.
Earlier, Kamala Harris had toured the country's strongly fortified border, sharing with nuclear-armed NK. Her trip was aimed at strengthening security ties with Seoul.
She spoke at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and expressed that the US has an "ironclad" commitment to SK's defence, AFP reports. Both countries are in line in their response to the increasing threat from NK's weapon programmes.
The US has deployed around 28,500 troops in SK to support its defence against NK. The allies are to start a large-scale joint naval exercise this week.
NK had fired two banned ballistic missiles days ahead of Kamala Harris's visit, adding to its record-breaking stint of weapon testing. Seoul and Tokyo said that NK fired a short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) on Sunday and two SRBMs on Wednesday. Also, SK officials testify that they have detected signs of NK preparing to fire a submarine-launched ballistic missile.
When the Seoul-Washington joint military exercise is apparently purely defensive, NK sees it as trails before an invasion, AFP writes.
On Thursday, Seoul announced that it would conduct a trilateral anti-submarine drill with Japan and the US, a feat after five years.