South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that all three missiles were fired one after the other into waters off North Korea’s east coast between 6 and 7 a.m. Wednesday.
It said South Korea had subsequently stepped up its surveillance and maintained a military readiness in close coordination with the United States. South Korean President Eun Suu Kyi has called a separate meeting of the National Security Council to discuss the North’s launch, his office said.
The launch was North Korea’s 17th round of missile launches this year. Experts say North Korea’s test is aimed at modernizing its arsenal and putting pressure on its rivals in the long-running latent nuclear diplomacy.
This year’s weapons test included North Korea’s first intercontinental ballistic missile test in March 2017, at an unusual pace. U.S. and South Korean intelligence officials say North Korea could soon conduct its first nuclear test in about five years.
During his visit to South Korea, Biden dismissed questions about North Korea’s possible provocations, saying “we are ready for anything North Korea does.” Asked if he had a message for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Biden responded with a clip: “Hello. Duration. “
After his visit to Seoul, Biden traveled to Japan and met with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, where leaders pledged to work closely on security challenges, including North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic programs, which they called China’s “increasingly coercive” behavior. Religion.
Hours before North Korea’s missile launch, US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters in Washington that North Korea could be on the brink of a major weapons test. “Our concern for another possible provocation, be it an ICBM launch, a possible seventh nuclear test, has not diminished in any way,” he said.
North Korea’s last missile tests took place on May 12, just hours after the country acknowledged its COVID-19 outbreak on its soil, after maintaining a widely controversial claim to be coronavirus-free.
The country has said in the past few days that it has “a positive sign” in its anti-virus campaign. Some observers have predicted that North Korea will soon resume its missile tests. Since acknowledging the prevalence of highly contagious Omicron variant, North Korea has only said how many people get fever each day and identified only a fraction as COVID-19, while saying an unknown fever has spread across the country late. April.
On Wednesday, North Korean state media reported that an additional 115,970 people had fallen ill due to an unknown fever in the past 24-hour period, but no additional deaths had been reported. It said a total of about 3 million people showed symptoms of the fever but only 68 of them had died since the end of April, adding that if the disease COVID-19 was suspected, the death rate was extremely low.
North Korea has limited testing capacity for many sick people, but some experts say it is reporting fewer deaths to protect Kim from political harm.