North Korea launches ballistic missiles after huge US military drill

North Korea says it tested new solid-fuel long-range missile

North Korea has launched two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea off Japan, following its failed attempt to put a spy satellite into orbit in late May, ramping up tensions in the Korean Peninsula.

The launch comes hours after North Korea threatened retaliation in response to the South Korean-US drills near the border at a front-line firing range on Thursday, reports The Daily Express UK.

This year’s drills were the largest to date since they began in 1977, and the exercises were the fifth and last round of those that started last month.

The drills were observed by South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and other senior South Korean and US military officials.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missiles were launched into the East Sea from the Sunan district, north of the North Korean capital, at around 7:30 pm local time on Thursday, according to CBS News.

READ MORE: North Korea warned ballistic missile will be shot down after Kim’s latest threat

An unidentified spokesperson for the North Korean Government said in a statement: “Our response to (the South Korean-US drills) is inevitable.

“Our armed forces will fully counter any form of demonstrative moves and provocation of the enemies.”

In the backdrop of amplifying tension between the Korean North and South, North Korea has test-fired about 100 missiles since the start of 2022.

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Japan’s Defense Ministry also later confirmed its detection of the North Korean ballistic missiles fired into Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The Japanese coast guard issued a warning to vessels operating in the EEZ to monitor information about possible future launches.

They wrote: “A possible ballistic missile was launched from North Korea, according to the Ministry of Defense.

“Vessels should pay attention to future information, and if they find falling objects, do not approach and report relevant information to the Japan Coast Guard.”

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