A day after a three-day joint military exercise by US and South Korean forces, North Korea launched eight ballistic missiles on its east coast on Sunday.
“Our military has detected the launch of eight short-range ballistic missiles from the Sunan Sector in Pyongyang into the East Sea,” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
It said the launches took place within 30 minutes, adding that “our military has strengthened its surveillance and vigilance in anticipation of new missiles. South Korea and the United States are fully prepared to work closely together.”
The new launches come after three days of large-scale US and South Korean military exercises involving the USS Ronald Reagan, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.
This is the first joint exercise between the two countries since the inauguration of the new South Korean president, Eun Seok-yol, in early May, and the commitment to a tough policy for Pyongyang, and the first exercise involving aircraft carriers since November 2017.
North Korea has long opposed the exercise, saying it was a preparation for an invasion.
The South Korean military said in a statement that it “strengthened the two countries ‘resolve to resolve any North Korean provocation, while demonstrating the United States’ commitment to providing broad-based sanctions.”
Analysts believe Kim Jong Un may step up his plans for a nuclear test to divert the attention of the North Korean population affected by the corona virus.
On Saturday, the country reached the threshold of 4 million epidemics out of a population of 25 million, according to official figures.
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