North Korea fired what are believed to be two short-range ballistic missiles – its third weapons launch this month, South Korean officials said.
The move, which has been condemned by Britain’s Foreign Office, is an apparent retaliation against sanctions imposed by President Joe Biden’s administration over continued test launches.
South KoreaThe Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missiles were fired at 11-minute intervals from an area west North Pyongan Province.
The missiles traveled 267 miles across the country, at an altitude of 22 miles, before landing at sea.
The UK condemned the move, calling it a threat to regional peace and urging Pyongyang to refrain from further provocation.
“It is essential that sanctions targeting the development of illegal weapons by the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) remain in place as long as its programs exist,” a foreign ministry spokeswoman said.
“We urge North Korea to refrain from further provocations and resume dialogue with the United States.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reaffirmed his country’s commitment to South Korea’s defense during a call with their foreign minister on Friday.
Hours earlier, before the launch, North Korea issued a statement chastising the Biden administration for imposing new sanctions on its previous missile tests and warning of stronger and more explicit action if Washington maintains his “confrontational position”.
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The sanctions targeted five North Koreans for their role in obtaining equipment and technology for the North’s missile programs in response to the North’s missile test this week. Washington has also said it will seek further UN sanctions.
The test launch of a hypersonic missile on Tuesday – the second in a week – was overseen by leader Kim Jong Un, who said it would greatly increase his country’s nuclear “war deterrent”.