Seoul: North Korea on Monday launched two short-range ballistic missiles over its eastern seaboard. North Korea’s missile launch comes at a time when the US and South Korea are taking the USS Nimitz and its battle group to neighboring waters for joint military exercises. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the two missiles were fired from a western inland area south of North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, between 7:47 am and 8:00 am. It has covered a distance of about 370 kilometers before falling into the sea.
North Korea also has another short-range system with similar characteristics that resembles the US MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System. The launch comes ahead of the USS Nimitz and its battle group arriving at the South Korean port of Busan. South Korea’s Defense Ministry said in a statement that the ‘Nimitz Strike Group’ will take part in exercises with South Korean warships in international waters near the South Korean resort island of Jeju before heading to Busan on Monday.
North Korea calls the joint US-South Korea military exercises a rehearsal for war, while the US and South Korea call these military drills drills to enhance defensive measures. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said North Korea could further ramp up its testing activity with more missile launches or its first nuclear test since September 2017.
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