A day after the latest North Korean missile test, the US and South Korea fired missiles themselves in the region. South Korea's military said the US and South Korea fired four surface-to-surface missiles toward the Sea of Japan (East Sea) in response to North Korea's provocation.
On Tuesday, Pyongyang fired a medium-range ballistic missile toward the Sea of Japan. It was the first time a North Korean missile had flown over the Japanese archipelago in almost five years.
The last time North Korea launched a missile over Japan in 2017, the country conducted a nuclear weapons test just days later. According to North Korea expert Go Myong Hyun from the Seoul-based Asan Institute, the probability is currently also "very high" that North Korea could conduct a nuclear weapons test by the end of the month.
UN resolutions prohibit North Korea from testing ballistic missiles of any range, which, depending on the design, can also carry a nuclear warhead. Most recently, North Korea had tested two short-range ballistic missiles on Saturday - that was the fourth missile launch in a week.