North Korea fired three ballistic missiles on Wednesday morning, May 25, just hours after US President Joe Biden left South Korea, South Korean troops said.
The announcement comes hours after US President Joe Biden headed to the US on Tuesday evening, May 24, after a five-day visit to South Korea and Japan.
U.S. and South Korean officials had earlier warned that North Korea appeared to be ready for another arms test, which could take place during Biden’s visit.
During a visit to Seoul over the weekend, Biden and South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol agreed to hold major military tests and use US strategic equipment if necessary to curb North Korean weapons tests.
Biden said the United States was “ready for whatever North Korea does.” While Suk-Yeol says the days of consolation in North Korea are over.
North Korea has been testing the missiles since the beginning of this year.
Also, Japan confirmed at least two launches took place on Wednesday but acknowledged that there could be more.
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Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said the first arrow flew about 300 kilometers (186 miles) with a height of about 550 km, and the second, 50 kilometers, flew 750 kilometers.
Kishi criticized the launch, saying it was “unacceptable” adding that it “would endanger the peace, stability and security of Japan and the international community”.
At a meeting convened after the launch of the missions, South Korea’s National Security Council called the test “a serious misdemeanor”, the presidency said.
Western intelligence says evidence is growing that North Korea is preparing to test a nuclear weapon. This will be its first nuclear test in five years and a major step forward.