MNA International Desk: North Korea launched four ballistic missiles on Monday in another challenge to President Donald Trump, with three landing close to America’s ally Japan.
Seoul and Washington began annual joint military exercises last week that always infuriate Pyongyang, with the North’s military warning of ‘merciless nuclear counter-action’.
Under leader Kim Jong-Un, Pyongyang has ambitions to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the US mainland—which Trump has vowed will not happen.
The missiles travelled around 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) and reached an altitude of 260 kilometres, said a spokesman for South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, adding they were unlikely to be ICBMs.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said three of the North Korean missiles came down in Tokyo’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) — waters extending 200 nautical miles (370 kilometres) from its coast.
‘This clearly shows North Korea has entered a new stage of threat,’ Abe said in parliament.
‘Repeated launches by North Korea are a serious, provocative action in terms of security and clearly violate UN Security Council resolutions. We can never tolerate this.’