North Korea completes fourth round of missile tests in a week as South Korea slams ‘obsession’

North Korea completes fourth round of missile tests in a week as South Korea slams ‘obsession’

North Korea has test fired two short-range ballistic missiles marking the fourth round of such tests in a single week, resulting in vehement condemnations from its neighbours.

Authorities in South Korea, Japan and US said two North Korean missile launches were detected on Saturday.

The lift-offs occurred from North Korea’s capital region, said officials from South Korea.

Estimates from the country and Japan said the missiles flew between 220-250 miles at a maximum altitude of 20-30 miles before landing in waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.

Japan’s vice defence minister Toshiro Ino said the missiles showed an “irregular” trajectory.

In a statement, South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol lashed out at the North and said its “obsession” with nuclear weapons was deepening the suffering of its own people.

“North Korea hasn’t abandoned its obsession with nukes and missiles despite the persistent international objection in the past 30 years,” he said.

“The development of nuclear weapons will plunge the lives of North Korean people in further pains (sic).

“If North Korea attempts to use nukes, it’ll face a resolute, overwhelming response by the South Korea-US alliance and our military.”

The latest missile test launch comes days after one was conducted just hours before US vice president Kamala Harris arrived in South Korea on Thursday, ahead of her visit to the demilitarised zone (DMZ).

Earlier in the week, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles on Wednesday and, before that, fired another on Sunday.

In a statement, South Korea’s Joint chiefs of staff said: “The repeated ballistic missile firings by North Korea are a grave provocation that undermines peace and security on the Korean Peninsula, and in the international community.”

The missile tests have also come as South Korea and the US carry out their biggest joint military drills in several years.

North Korea sees joint military exercises undertaken by South Korea and its allies as “double standards” given that those nations have condemned the North’s weapons tests as provocation.

Earlier this month, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un declared his country a nuclear state and said it would not give up even if his country was sanctioned for “100 years”.

Additional reporting by agencies