North Korea launches more "reckless" missiles and calls US a "serious threat" in nuclear ramp up
Pyongyang, North Korea – North Korea launched another two missiles on Thursday morning, just two days after its latest test and a response from the US and South Korea. UN leaders called the move "reckless, provocative, and escalatory."
Pyongyang launched two new 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 tweeted that North Korea launched a suspected ballistic missile and that residents should "take all possible measures for precaution, including readiness for contingencies."
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 which 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.
North Korea and US nuclear tensions over ballistic missiles heats up
Meanwhile, the UN Security Council failed to reach a common position on Pyongyang's Tuesday actions at an emergency meeting in New York.
US UN Ambassador Linda 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 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.
Cover photo: REUTERS