Seoul, 6 October 2022 (dpa/MIA) – North Korea on Thursday morning launched another two missiles just two days after its latest test, South Korea said.
Pyongyang launched two missiles from the Samsok area of the North Korean capital towards the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea, South Korean news agency Yonhap cited the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) as saying.
The Japanese prime minister’s office had earlier tweeted that North Korea launched a suspected ballistic missile.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida slammed North Korea‘s repeated firings of missiles over a short span of time as “absolutely unacceptable,” Kyodo news agency reported.
UN resolutions prohibit North Korea from testing ballistic missiles of any range, some of which are capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
The tests come after a Tuesday launch by Pyongyang of a medium-range ballistic missile that marked the first time in nearly five years that a North Korean missile had flown over the Japanese archipelago. Both the United States and NATO strongly condemned the test.
The last time North Korea flew a missile over Japan, in 2017, Pyongyang conducted a nuclear weapons test just days later.
Meanwhile, the UN Security Council failed to reach a common position on Pyongyang’s Tuesday actions at an emergency meeting in New York.
Chinese Deputy Ambassador Geng Shuang blamed the US for North Korea‘s behaviour, saying Washington had failed to respond appropriately to the country’s denuclearization measures in the past.
“We call on the US to take concrete actions demonstrate that sincerity effectively address the legitimate and reasonable concerns of [North Korea] so as to create conditions for the assumption of dialogue,” he said at the meeting.
US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield meanwhile said North Korea felt emboldened to act by the Security Council’s inactivity. Meanwhile, Washington remains ready to negotiate with Pyongyang, she said.
Thomas-Greenfield later tweeted that the council members learned of the latest launches of two more missiles while they were wrapping up the meeting and urged North Korea to “stop the reckless, provocative, and escalatory behavior and return to dialogue.”
On Thursday, North Korea‘s Foreign Ministry released a statement blasting the US for “unwarrantedly” referring to the UN Security Council what it called “just counteraction measures of the Korean People’s Army against south Korea-US joint drills escalating the military tensions on the Korean peninsula.”
The North Korean statement did not mention the Thursday launches, but accused the US of posing a “serious threat” to stability by redeploying the USS Ronald Reagan in the waters off the Korean Peninsula.
The USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier was being sent to the waters east of the Korean peninsula in view of the tense situation, according to Yonhap news agency.
The “unusual” return of the nuclear-powered carrier was intended to demonstrate the allies’ readiness for defense, according to the report.
The US and South Korea on Wednesday also fired four surface-to-surface missiles toward the Sea of Japan in an effort to make a point about their ability to deter any aggression from Pyongyang.
The USS Ronald Reagan arrived in South Korea for a naval manouevre with Seoul in September in its first visit in almost four years.
The US on Tuesday confirmed that the carrier had departed South Korea and declined to confirm whether it was on its way back.
The South Korean military has been conducting joint flight drills with US F-16 fighter jets in the region as part of those naval exercises.