North Korea test fires eight short-range ballistic missiles in latest show of force

·1-min read
Eight missiles were launched on Sunday (AP)
Eight missiles were launched on Sunday (AP)

North Korea test-fired eight short-range ballistic missiles on Sunday, South Korea’s military reported.

According to reports, the test lasted 35 minutes. The missiles were launched from several sites including the Sunan area, near to Pyongyang.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said: “North Korea’s continued launch of ballistic missiles is a serious provocation that harms peace and stability of not only the Korean peninsula but also the international community.”

They also called for the state to immediately stop any further provocations after nearly 20 similar tests have been launched this year.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol also convened a National Security Council meeting and ordered “expanded deterrence of South Korea and the United States and continued reinforcement of a united defence posture”.

Japanese Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi said the North had launched multiple missiles, and that the act "cannot be tolerated."

He said at a briefing that at least one missile had a variable trajectory, which indicates it could manoeuvre to evade missile defences.

North Korea‘s last tests were on May 25, when it launched three missiles after US President Joe Biden ended an Asia trip where he agreed to new measures to deter the nuclear-armed state.

The first missile appeared to be the North‘s largest ICBM, the Hwasong-17, while a second unspecified missile appeared to have failed mid-flight, South Korean officials said at the time.

On Saturday, South Korean and American ships concluded three days of drills in international waters off the Japanese island of Okinawa, including air defence, anti-ship, anti-submarine, and maritime interdiction operations, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

It has said the exercises "consolidated the two countries' determination to sternly respond to any North Korean provocations".

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