Seoul [South Korea]: North Korea on Saturday launched more unidentified projectiles into the East Sea, its fifth launch in just over two weeks, according to the South Korean military. The latest launch is an apparent mark of protest against the US-South Korea military drill which is currently underway.
Two projectiles were fired from near its eastern coastal city of Hamhung in South Hamgyong Province, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) was quoted by Yonhap News Agency as saying.
"Our military is monitoring the situation in case of additional launches while maintaining a readiness posture," the JCS said in a statement.
The launch came barely four days after North Korea launched two projectiles believed to be newly developed short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea.
After overseeing the launch, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said its "military action would be an occasion to send an adequate warning to the joint military drill now underway by the US and South Korean authorities," the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
Following the tests, North Korea issued a statement criticising the joint drill as a violation of peace deals signed by the communist country with the US and South Korea.
North Korea has repeatedly denounced the joint military exercise between the US and South Korea, claiming that it is a rehearsal for invasion into the reclusive communist country. Pyongyang also warned that it could seek a "new road" if such "hostile military moves" continued.
Meanwhile, the US said it is aware of reports of the launch and is consulting closely with Japan and South Korea."We are aware of reports of a missile launch from North Korea, and we continue to monitor the situation. We are consulting closely with our Japanese and South Korean allies," a senior US government official told Yonhap.