In a show of defiance, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea on Thursday, hours after U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris flew home from a visit to South Korea during which she traveled to the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas and emphasized the “ironclad” U.S. commitment to the security of its Asian allies.
It was the third round of missile launches by North Korea this week, extending a record pace in weapons testing as it accelerates a push to expand its arsenal and pressure Washington to accept it as a nuclear power.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missiles were fired nine minutes apart from an area just north of the capital, Pyongyang, and flew toward waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.
Japan’s military said it also detected the launches. North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles on Wednesday, while Harris was in Japan, and one before she left Washington on Sunday.