International Desk: North Korea has fired 8 short-range ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The missiles were fired at Pyongyang on Sunday, the day after a joint US-South Korean military exercise with an aircraft carrier ended more than four years ago, Reuters reported.
The South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the short-range missiles were fired from Pyongyang’s Sunan area.
Citing an official source, the Japanese news agency Kyodo also reported that North Korea had fired multiple missiles.
Analysts believe that Pyongyang fired so many missiles in a single day to convey the message about the visit of US Special Envoy for North Korea Sung Kim to Seoul, not just the US-South Korea exercise.
Kim left South Korea on Saturday.
On Friday, Sung Kim met with South Korean and Japanese officials to signal that North Korea was preparing to conduct a nuclear test for the first time since 2017.
He said Washington had made it clear to Pyongyang that the United States was interested in diplomatic talks.
Kim said he also wanted to discuss Pyongyang’s preferred issues, including lifting sanctions.
A few days ago, the United States called for more sanctions on North Korea in response to its launch of ballistic missiles. However, due to the Sino-Russian veto, their proposal was not accepted.
In recent weeks, North Korea has been seen launching multiple ballistic missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles.
They also fired three missiles on May 25 after US President Joe Biden’s visit to Asia.
The first of these is believed to be their largest intercontinental ballistic missile, the Huasung-17.
South Korean officials at the time said the second missile had become ineffective in the middle, and the third was a short-range ballistic missile.
On Saturday, South Korean and US ships completed their three-day exercise near the international waters off the Japanese island of Okinawa. The USS Ronald Reagan, a 100,000-ton nuclear-powered warship, was among the other warships involved in the exercise.
South Korean President Eun Sook-yal, who came to power last month, agreed with Biden to increase the amount of bilateral military exercises with the United States to deal with North Korea.
North Korea has been critical of the joint exercises since the beginning.
The exercise is an example of the fact that the United States has a “hostile policy” towards Pyongyang, despite its diplomacy.