There’s a “high chance” of more missile launches from North Korea following the fifth ballistic test in about two weeks, South Korea said.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff will conduct further analysis with the U.S. on what it said were likely short-range ballistic missiles fired at 5:34 a.m. and 5:50 a.m. local time on Saturday, it said in a statement. The projectiles flew 400 kilometers (249 miles) into the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan. A Fox News Pentagon reporter said earlier in a tweet that North Korea had launched multiple short-range missiles, citing an American official.
The missile tests came after President Donald Trump said he received a letter from Kim Jong Un on Thursday, in which the North Korean leader complained about war games conducted jointly by the U.S. and South Korean military forces.
“There’s a high chance that North Korea will fire additional missiles as South Korea-U.S. joint drills have started and North Korea is carrying out summertime drills,” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs said in the statement. “South Korea military is closely monitoring situation and maintaining full readiness.”
U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton has said current U.S.-South Korean drills are “largely computer-driven,” with fewer troops maneuvering than in exercises that Trump ordered halted.
“He wasn’t happy with the testing,” Trump said Friday as he departed the White House for a fundraiser in the Hamptons. “We’ll see how it all works out.”
Trump and his team contend that diplomacy with North Korea remains on track, thanks in part to his personal rapport with Kim. They say Kim has kept his word by holding off testing a nuclear weapon or launching longer-range missiles capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.
Japan said it has no confirmation that the missiles entered its territory or exclusive economic zone. “At this moment, there are no signs that this will have an imminent impact on the safety of our nation,” the Japanese Ministry of Defense said in a statement.