North Korea test-launches multiple cruise missiles, South says

ADDS DATE – This image made from video broadcasted by North Korea’s KRT shows what it says is a ballistic missile being launched from an undisclosed location in North Korea, Monday, Feb. 20, 2023. North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles toward Japan on Monday in its second weapons test in three days that drew quick condemnation from its rivals and prompted Tokyo to request an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council. (KRT via AP)

North Korea fired multiple cruise missiles off its east coast on Wednesday, as South Korea and the U.S. held joint military exercises, according to the South Korean military.

The test comes just days after North Korea said a missile it launched on Monday was fired as a simulated nuclear attack on South Korea, as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un continues to respond to what he sees as growing aggression from the South and its allies. 

The South Korean military said it could not confirm how many missiles were fired on Wednesday or what type they were, but said they were fired toward the Sea of Japan.

The “aggression” that the North Korean leader points to is the joint military exercises between the U.S. and its Asian allies, including South Korea and Japan. The U.S. has sought to strengthen those ties as tensions in the region flare.

The test came amid an 11-day joint military “Freedom Shield” exercise between the U.S. and South Korea that is slated to end on Thursday. The operation is the largest between the two countries in at least five years and it is one that North Korean officials see as preparation for a possible invasion.

The missile launches on Wednesday mark North Korea’s sixth missile tests just this month.

The aggression shown by the North Korean military follows a trend of unprecedented missile tests last year. U.S. intelligence agencies concluded earlier this month that North Korea had been timing its missile tests to coincide with joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea.

Tags Kim Jong Un North Korea North Korea missile tests South Korea

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