North Korea fired two ballistic missiles into open water from its east coast early Wednesday, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) — just six days after the North’s last missile launches from the same area.
The JCS was cited by local news agency Yonhap as confirming that the first missile was fired shortly after 5 a.m. (2000 GMT), followed by the second projectile around 20 minutes later.
Pyongyang is barred from testing ballistic missiles under a series of United Nations Security Council resolutions.
The North earlier stated that last week’s missiles were a “new tactical guided weapon” and were intended to be a warning to “South Korean warmongers” ahead of a military drill planned to take place with the United States next month.
However, U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly played down the significance of North Korean short-range missile tests, stressing that Pyongyang has refrained from long-range launches throughout a denuclearization dialogue process that kicked off last year.
It remains unclear when or whether the U.S. and North Korea will resume working-level talks, despite Trump agreeing to do so with Chairman Kim Jong-un during their surprise meeting at the inter-Korean border last month.
According to Yonhap, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told reporters Wednesday that “North Korea’s actions do not help (ease) military tensions, nor do they help keep the momentum for denuclearization talks.”