Pyongyang, July 19: In yet another move to disturb the peace of neighbours South Korea and Japan, North Korea on Tuesday test fired three ballistic missiles into the sea off its eastern coast. The missiles travelled between 500 and 600 kilometers which flew fired from North Hwanghae province during 5.15 and 6.40 am according to South Korea local time.
North Korea has fired both types numerous times in recent years, an indication that unlike recent launches that were seen as efforts by the North to improve its missile capability, Tuesday's were meant as a show of force. The missiles, presumed to be Scud-types, have enough range to reach all of South Korea, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.
"The latest launch is a breach of the UN Security Council resolution and is extremely hazardous to shipping and aircraft and we have strongly protested," the Japanese government said in a statement while denouncing the launches.
The move comes six days after South Korea and US decided to deploy THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defence) anti-missile system in Seoul to counter threats from the North Korea and combat growing nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities of the isolated nation.
“There will be physical response measures from us as soon as the location and time that the invasionary tool for US world supremacy, THAAD, will be brought into South Korea,” the North’s military said in a statement last week. When active, the system should be able to defend two-thirds of South Korea from an attack by their northern neighbor. In addition to the decision to base a THAAD system in South Korea, the United States recently angered North Korea by blacklisting its leader Kim Jong Un for human rights abuses.
Despite UN sanctions and strong international condemnation, North Korea conducted nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013, with the latest one being in January of this year. Following the latest nuclear test and a February space rocket launch that was widely viewed as a missile test in disguise, the U.N. Security Council imposed tough new resolutions that further isolate North Korea.