North Korea has fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the open sea, according to the South Korean military. The two rockets were launched early Monday morning (local time) from the western region of South Pyongan, the general staff said in the capital Seoul. They were flying towards the Sea of Japan (Korean: East Sea). How far they flew was initially unclear.
It was only on Saturday that the largely isolated country fired a long-range missile that could theoretically reach US territory. The Hwasongpho-15 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) reached its target area in the Sea of Japan after a flight of almost 990 kilometers, state media reported. Such missiles are considered the most important carriers for nuclear weapons.
Tests with ICBMs and other ballistic missiles are banned from North Korea by United Nations decisions. North Korea's development of ICBMs is primarily aimed at the United States, which Pyongyang accuses of hostile policies.
Tensions on the Korean peninsula had escalated significantly again in the past year. Communist-ruled North Korea, subject to international sanctions over its nuclear weapons program, increased the scope and pace of its missile tests. South Korea and the USA resumed their maneuvers in full.