North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast on Tuesday, the South Korean military said in the latest in a series of weapons tests as South Korea and the United States conduct their largest joint military exercise in years.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the two missiles were launched at around 7:40 am local time (2240 ​​GMT on Monday) from South Hwanghae Province, near the country’s western coast, and covered a distance of about 620 km.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the South Korean army is on high alert and on full alert in close cooperation with the United States.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that Japan is gathering information about the missile and has not yet confirmed any damage in the country as a result of the launch.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said the missiles had not yet been confirmed to have entered Japanese territory or exclusive economic zones.

“We see that North Korea is likely to step up its provocative actions, including missile launches or nuclear tests,” Matsuno said. “We will continue to work closely with the United States and South Korea on the actions of the North Korean military, as well as the collection and analysis of intelligence “. .”

The US Indo-Pacific Command said the missiles did not pose an immediate threat to the forces or territory of the United States or its allies, but said the North’s illegal weapons programs had a destabilizing effect.

The South Korean military “strongly” condemned North Korea, calling the repeated missile launches a major provocation that threatens peace and security in the region and a violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

“The South Korean-American alliance will continue the drills and exercises as planned, even if North Korea tries to disrupt the Freedom Shield drill with provocative actions,” a spokesman for the South Korean Defense Ministry said at a briefing.

The launch came two days after North Korea launched what it called two strategic cruise missiles from a submarine and less than a week after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered the military to step up its training to deter and respond to “real war” if necessary.

On Monday, South Korean and US forces began an 11-day joint exercise called Freedom Shield 23, and the maneuvers will take place on an unprecedented scale since 2017 to counter the growing threat from the north.

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Irene Diaz is a celebrity news reporter who started her career as a TV News Reporter. She then progressed into fashion & beauty reporting and eventually jumped from TV to the web, where she worked as a Senior Editor at 24PalNews. Irene believes that if she can, so can you. She’s a firm believer that anything is possible. Her motto is, “It’s all about believing.”

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