International

North Korea fires short-range projectiles, South says

North Korea fired multiple short-range projectiles off its east coast on Saturday morning, South Korea’s military announced.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the North fired a barrage of short-range projectiles from the town of Wonsan, according to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.

The South Korean military had said earlier that the North fired multiple short-range “missiles” before saying that they fired “projectiles.”

“What the North fired this time is not a ballistic missile,” a military official said, according to Yonhap.{mosads}

U.S. and South Korean officials said they were analyzing the projectiles, which reportedly flew up to 125 miles.

“We are aware of North Korea’s actions tonight. We will continue to monitor as necessary,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

The launch could escalate tensions between Washington and Pyongyang as the Trump administration pushes North Korea to denuclearize.

It follows President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s second summit in Vietnam in February, which ended with the sides failing to reach a nuclear deal.

It also comes after North Korea said last month that it test-fired a “new-type tactical guided weapon” with the test overseen by Kim.

White House national security adviser John Bolton has briefed Trump on the latest launch, a senior administration official told ABC News. 

The National Security Council and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command did not immediately respond to inquiries from The Hill.

“Clearly, Pyongyang is frustrated with the conclusion of the recent summit with Washington in Vietnam that did not produce any breakthrough. It also seems clear that North Korea is angry over what appears to be a lack of flexibility in the Trump Administration’s position on relieving sanctions, sticking to a policy of ‘maximum pressure,’ ” Harry J. Kazianis, the director of Korean Studies at the Center for the National Interest, said in a statement. 

“Chairman Kim has decided to remind the world — and specifically the United States — that his weapons capabilities are growing by the day.”

The last time North Korea conducted a missile test was November 2017 when it launched an intercontinental ballistic missile believed to be capable of reaching the U.S.

Kim announced last year a self-imposed moratorium on missile and nuclear testing, though satellite imagery suggests nuclear activity continues at North Korea’s plants.

– Updated at 10:28 p.m.

Tags 2017–18 North Korea crisis Donald Trump John Bolton Kim Jong Un North Korea North Korean nuclear test North Korea–South Korea relations Pyongyang Sarah Huckabee
See all Hill.TV See all Video