North Korea fires 2 ballistic missiles day before Kamla Harris' visit to Demilitarized Zone
Harris is to arrive in South Korea on Thursday for talks with President Yoon Suk Yeol and other officials. She also is to visit the tense border with North Korea
- N.Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles toward its eastern waters
- US Vice President Kamala Harris is to visit South Korea on Thursday
- The N.Korean missiles lifted off 10 minutes apart: Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff
Seoul: North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles toward its eastern waters on Wednesday, its neighbours said, a day before U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is to visit South Korea. Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the North Korean missiles lifted off 10 minutes apart on Wednesday afternoon from its capital region and flew toward the waters off its east coast. South Korea and Japan estimated that the North Korean missiles fired Wednesday flew 300-360 kilometres with a maximum altitude of 30-50 kilometres.
Japanese Vice Defence Minister Toshiro Ino said Japan's military also detected the launches and that the weapons flew in an irregular trajectory. Ino said that "North Korea's repeated missile firings amid (Russia's) invasion of Ukraine is impermissible'.
The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said North Korea's provocations would only deepen its international isolation while pushing South Korea and the United States to strengthen their deterrence. The low trajectories resembled the flight of the missile fired on Sunday, which some analysts said was likely a nuclear-capable, highly manoeuvrable weapon modelled after Russia's Iskander missile.
The launches follow a missile test by North Korea earlier this week.
Harris is to arrive in South Korea on Thursday for talks with President Yoon Suk Yeol and other officials. She also is to visit the tense border with North Korea, in what U.S. Officials call an attempt to underscore the strength of the U.S.-South Korean alliance and the U.S. Commitment to stand beside South Korea in the face of any North Korea threats.
U.S. And South Korean navy ships were also conducting drills off South Korea's east coast in a show of force against North Korea. The four-day exercise, which began Monday, involves the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. It is the first training exercise by the allies involving a U.S. Aircraft carrier near the Korean Peninsula since 2017.
South Korea-U.S. Joint military exercises often draw a furious response from North Korea, which views them as an invasion rehearsal. A short-range North Korean missile launched Sunday was seen as a response to the U.S.-South Korean training.