S.Korea says DPRK fires short-range ballistic missiles eastward
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) fired eight short-range ballistic missiles eastward, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said Sunday.
The JCS said in a statement that it detected the launches around four areas, including Sunan in Pyongyang, Kaechon in South Pyongan province, Tongchang-ri in North Pyongan province and Hamhung in South Hamkyong province, from around 9:08 am to 9:43 am local time.
The missiles traveled some 110 km to 670 km at an altitude of 25-90 km and a speed of Mach 3-6.
The intelligence authorities of South Korea and the United States are conducting a detailed analysis on the missiles, according to the JCS.
The JCS said the recent series of ballistic missile launches by the DPRK were a serious provocation, which damaged peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the international community, urging Pyongyang to immediately stop it.
It noted that the South Korean military has tightened surveillance and alert status against further possible launches while maintaining a full readiness posture in cooperation with the United States.
The DPRK carried out projectile launches 18 times this year. It marked the third since South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol took office on May 10.
The missile launches came a day after South Korea and the United States wrapped up their joint maritime exercises near the Korean Peninsula mobilizing a US aircraft carrier.
The maritime drills were conducted from Thursday to Saturday in international waters off Japan's Okinawa, involving the USS Ronald Reagan, a nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier, as well as battleships of the two countries, according to Yonhap news agency.
The DPRK has denounced the joint military drills as a dress rehearsal for northward invasion.
The DPRK test-fired a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and two other short-range ballistic missiles on May 25, a day after US President Joe Biden wrapped up his Asian tour to South Korea and Japan.
The South Korean presidential office said the meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) standing committee was presided over by top presidential security adviser Kim Sung-han to discuss the DPRK's missile launches.
The meeting participants condemned the DPRK's missile launches, which violate the UN Security Council resolutions and escalate tensions on the peninsula, urging the DPRK to come to the path of dialogue and cooperation.
President Yoon was briefed on the result of the meeting, instructing officials to strengthen the extended deterrence and combined defense posture between South Korea and the United States, including the South Korea-US missile defense exercises.