North Korea fires three ballistic missiles

A week after threatening the United States, North Korea fires three ballistic missiles in latest provocation.

Ben Ariel ,

North Korea flag
North Korea flag

North Korea fired three ballistic missiles early Tuesday (local time), South Korea's military said, according to AFP.

The latest tests come just over a week after North Korea issued threats to respond to the planned deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system in the South.

The missiles, launched from the western city of Hwangju, flew between 500 and 600 kilometers (311-373 miles) toward the Sea of Japan, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a press statement quoted by AFP.

The range of what were believed to be SCUD missiles is enough to reach all of South Korea, the JCS reported.

South Korea's military is keeping close tabs on the North's movement, it added.

Tensions in the regions have soared since Pyongyang carried out its fourth nuclear test in January, claiming it was a hydrogen bomb.

The January test followed by a series of missile launches that analysts said show the North is making progress toward being able to strike the United States mainland.

North Korea last week threatened to take an unspecified "physical action" after Washington and Seoul announced they would deploy a sophisticated U.S. anti-missile defense system to counter the growing menace from Pyongyang.

Those threats came after Washington blacklisted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over human rights abuses.

Kim responded by threatening a tough response to what he called the United States' “declaration of war” against Pyongyang.

The North frequently threatens to attack the South and U.S. interests in Asia and the Pacific. In fact, Kim several weeks ago boasted that his country possesses "the sure capability to attack" U.S. interests in the Pacific.