North Korea fired two short-range missiles off its east coast, a US official confirmed to Fox News on Wednesday.
They splashed into the Sea of Japan on Thursday local time – Wednesday in the mainland United States, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported earlier.
North Korea’s test of two short-range ballistic missiles may have included testing of an “under-launched missile” propelled from the ground – not the sea – but this is the type of missile Korea North would like to launch from a submarine, according to a senior US official.
There was no threat to US or Japanese forces, the official said.
Testing was likely part of NoKo’s research and development as they tried to advance their weapon systems and also test the Biden administration.
The Pentagon was still evaluating the telemetry and forensics of the missile launch and is not expected to know the exact flight profile and whether it maneuvered during the flight for several days, according to the official.
Captain Mike Kafka, spokesman for the US Indo-Pacific Command, said in a statement: “We will continue to monitor the situation and will consult closely with our allies and partners. This activity highlights the threat posed by the program of illicit weapons from North Korea, to its neighbors and to the international community. The United States’ commitment to defend the Republic of Korea and Japan remains unblemished. “
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The launch comes days after North Korea detonated joint US-South Korean military exercises and launched missiles off its west coast shortly after Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of State visited Lloyd Austin Defense in Seoul.
Austin last week warned North Korea that US forces were “ready to fight tonight” after leader Kim Jong Un’s sister Kim Yo Jong issued a belligerent statement condemning the joint exercises.
“We take this opportunity to warn the new US administration which is trying to smell powder in our country,” she said in a statement to the official KCNA news agency, according to Reuters. “If he wants to sleep in peace for the next four years, he better refrain from causing a stench at his first step.”
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U.S. officials downplayed the importance of these launches – considered the county’s first short-range missile test since 2019.
Experts say the country’s leaders believe that carrying out missile tests can strengthen their influence in international negotiations.
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It has delayed long-range missile testing since President Trump met Kim in Singapore in 2018 at a landmark summit between a sitting U.S. president and the Communist North Korean head of state.
Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson and Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.
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