North Korea has fired two short-range ballistic missiles off the coast, according to a South Korean Defense Ministry official.
The missiles were fired from the country’s west coast into the East Sea, or Sea of Japan, at 4:30 pm and 4:40 pm EST Sunday. The missiles were fired from a region near Nampo City, about 37 miles outside of Pyongyang, CNN reported.
The projectiles are believed to have flown about 304 miles before dropping into the sea. The missiles are believed to be Scud-Cs, based on the speed, altitude and distance they achieved.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Kim Min-seok” author_title=”South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman”]
Our military is strictly warning North Korean military of the reckless and the provocative act. We will firmly and strongly respond to any North Korea’s provocation through solid united defense posture.
The launch comes as the United States and South Korea begin their annual military drills that the United States Forces Korea calls “nonprovocative training” to prepare for defending South Korea. On Monday, North Korea’s state-run KCNA called the joint military exercises a smokescreen for the U.S. and South Korea to “cover up their surprise invasion of the north.”
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reportedly told his army to prepare for war with the U.S, telling them to train to “tear to pieces the Stars Stripes,” according to Fox News.
Last year, North Korea conducted a large number of missile and weapons tests, drawing protests from South Korea. The Korean Peninsula is technically still in a state of war due to the 1950-1953 Korean War ending with an armistice, not a peace treaty. Nearly 28,500 U.S. soldiers are deployed in South Korea to deter potential aggression from the north, according to the Miami Herald.