North Korea fires ballistic missiles for the fourth time in a few days

Japan also confirmed the firing of the two missiles.

North Korea fires ballistic missiles for the fourth time in a few days

Japan also confirmed the firing of the two missiles. North Korea has repeated its missile launches at an "unprecedented pace," Japan's Deputy Defense Minister Toshiro Ino said. The missiles "appeared to have been flying in erratic trajectories," he said. According to experts, this could indicate that the missiles are maneuverable in flight. This makes them harder to track and intercept.

North Korea fired ballistic missiles three times from Sunday to Thursday. A few hours before the third missile was launched, US Vice President Kamala Harris visited neighboring South Korea.

Washington and Seoul are close allies. Around 28,500 US soldiers are stationed in South Korea. This week, the South Korean and US navies held a large-scale joint military exercise. On Friday, South Korea, Japan and the United States also started anti-submarine exercises for the first time in five years.

Under the new South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, Seoul and Washington have expanded their joint military exercises, but emphasize their "purely defensive" character. North Korea, on the other hand, sees the maneuvers as preparation for a possible invasion and has carried out a number of weapons tests since the beginning of the year, including with an ICBM.

North Korea's short-range ballistic tests are "less significant than a nuclear test" but still violate UN Security Council resolutions, said Leif-Eric Easley of Ewha University in Seoul. He also called the timing "provocative": North Korea is rapidly modernizing its weapons and taking advantage of a global situation that is polarized by the rivalry between the United States and China and the Ukraine war.

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