North Korea fired 30 missiles into the sea on Saturday in an act that has drawn sharp rebukes from the United States and South Korea.
The testing, one of several by North Korea over the past few months, was seen as an act of provocation by South Korea. It comes just one day after North Korea had fired 25 missiles into the sea.
Officials said the missiles fired by North Korea were short-range.
“North Korea fired off 30 short-range missiles between 4:00 am and 6:10 am (1900-2110 GMT Friday) this morning from its east coast into the Sea of Japan (East Sea),” said a spokesman for the Joint Chiefs. “The missiles are estimated to have flown about 60 kilometers (37 miles).”
The North Korea missiles were apparently a response to joint military exercises being held by the United States and South Korea. Shortly after the launch South Korean officials blamed North Korea for raising tension in the region.
“The North should stop actions that cause military tension and unnerve its neighbors,” Seoul’s defence ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok told reporters on Monday.
The United States also condemned the North Korea missiles and called on Pyongyang to stop “provocative actions that aggravate tensions.”
Though the missile launch was largely symbolic, some believe that North Korea is developing the ability to unleash more devastating weapons. Sources say the nation is developing electromagnetic pulse weapons (EMP) with the help of Russia. These would be able to paralyze military electronics south of the border and could aid in a full-scale attack.
Despite the gesturing from both countries, relations between North Korea and South Korea. The nations recently held the first reunion for families divided by the Korean war.
South Korea’s defense ministry said the North Korea missiles are not an indication that Phongyang may have another nuclear test planned. The country has staged three such tests, in 2006, 2009, and 2013.