North Korea (DPRK) has launched two short-range ballistic missiles from its east coast ahead of US Vice-President Kamala Harris’ visit to South Korea.
According to a Reuters report, South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff claimed that the two missiles were fired between 9:10pm and 9:20pm GMT on 28 September.
The launch was conducted from the Sunan area of Pyongyang.
Following the launch, the missiles flew around 360km with a speed of up to Mach 6 and at an altitude of 30km.
In a statement, South Korean President Yoon Suk-Yeol’s office said that South Korea’s national security council had called an emergency meeting.
US Pentagon press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, in a press briefing, said: “The US condemns — as we have said many times; when we have seen this — this behaviour, the DPRK’s ballistic missile launches.
“These launches are in violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions and pose a threat to the DPRK’s neighbours and the international community.
“The US is committed to the defence of our allies — South Korea and Japan. And we continue to call on North Korea to engage in diplomacy.”
The launch is North Korea’s second test-firing of ballistic missiles in recent days, with an earlier test launch carried out on 25 September.
DPRK’s previous launch was claimed to be in response to the US Navy’s nuclear-powered Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan’s (CVN 76) arrival in Busan, South Korea, for the first time in five years.
Following CVN 76’s arrival, the US and South Korean navies started a joint maritime counter-special operations exercise (MCSOFEX) in the East Sea, which will conclude on 29 September.
US Vice-President Harris is due to land in Seoul and visit the heavily fortified Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea on 29 September.