Angered North Korea fires missiles just as military exercise between US-South Korea begin

North Korea fired two unidentified missiles, its fourth such launch in less than two weeks, South Korea’s military said. The missiles were fired from South Hwanghae province across the peninsula into the sea to the east.

The firing violate agreements reached with US President Donald Trump and South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in.

The US said it was monitoring the situation and consulting with South Korea and Japan.

North is believed to be angered with the military drills that began on Monday, however, the main drills will start on 11th August, low-key preparation has begun.

Late on Monday, Washington introduced travel restrictions on people who have visited North Korea. Anyone who would normally be eligible for the US visa waiver programme will now have to apply for a US visa if they have visited North Korea in the last eight years.

The new policy affects tourists from most European countries as well as Australia, New Zealand, and several Asian countries like Japan, Taiwan and Singapore.

In a statement released by North Korea’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday it claims that the military drills in the South essentially force it to develop and test new weapons.

The statement describes the exercise as “an undisguised denial and a flagrant violation” of the recent talks between the US and North Korea (DPRK).

“We have already warned several times that the joint military exercises would block progress in the DPRK-US relations and the inter-Korean relations and bring us into reconsideration of our earlier major steps,” the statement warns.

According to South Korea’s military, the North’s launches on Tuesday appear to be short-range ballistic missiles, flying 450 km (280 miles) at an altitude of 37 km.

Over the past two weeks, the North test-fired what South Korean officials said appeared to have been a new type of short-range missile.

Last Friday, two missiles landed in the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

On Wednesday, the North launched two missiles that flew 250km and reached a height of 30 km before landing in the Sea of Japan, according to South Korea.

On 25 July, the North had fired two other missiles, one of which travelled about 690 km.

That was the first launch since President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held an impromptu meeting in June at the demilitarised zone (DMZ), an area that divides the two Koreas, where they agreed to restart denuclearisation talks.

Source : Various