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ConflictsNorth Korea

North Korea launches missiles amid US drills with the South

August 30, 2023

The launches come as the United States and South Korea conduct military exercises that North Korea regards as a threat.

Television shows missile heading skyward
North Korea has raised concerns over joint US and South Korea drills in the regionImage: Kim Hong-Ji/REUTERS

North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea on Wednesday, according to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, and reported on by media in Seoul.

The incident comes amid joint military exercises carried out by the United States and South Korea.

More than a coincidence, analysts say

Indeed, analysts in South Korea have suggested the missile firings were seen as a sign of protest against the drills from Washington and Seoul.

On Tuesday, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un said the military exercises have turned the Korean peninsula into  the world's "biggest war hardware concentration spot."


Wednesday's missiles were fired toward the Sea of Japan, just before midnight, Seoul's military said, adding it was still analyzing the exact nature of the missiles fired by Pyongyang, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported.

"While strengthening our monitoring and vigilance against additional provocations, our military is maintaining a full readiness posture in close cooperation with the United States," the Seoul's Joint Chiefs said in a text message sent to reporters.

More weapons tests than ever before

Pyongyang has carried out a record number of weapons tests this year.

Earlier Wednesday, the United States flew at least one B-1B bomber for a joint aerial training exercise with other South Korean and US warplanes, flying above the Korean Peninsula.

jsi/jcg (AFP, dpa)