Defiant North Korea launches multiple missiles

North Korea's weapons tests are meant to build a nuclear and missile program that can stand up to what it sees as United States and South Korean hostility, but they are also considered by outside analysts as ways to make its political demands clear to leaders in Washington and Seoul.

"The Philippines expresses grave concern on the DPRK's [Democratic People's Republic of Korea], missile launches on May 21 and May 29 which were carried out in defiance of repeated warnings by the global community", the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement.

The launches today were North Korea's fourth missile test since Moon's inauguration on May 10. "We underscore the need for [the] DPRK to comply with its worldwide obligations under relevant UNSC resolutions, and call for the recommencement of constructive dialogue to defuse tensions in the region".

North Korea's latest launches of several suspected anti-ship missiles were short-range and landed well short of past efforts, but they still served as a defiant message for its enemies that Pyongyang will continue to pursue a weapons program that has rattled its neighbors and Washington.

(STAND-UP) "The North's missile tests present a hard challenge to President Moon who just a day earlier postponed the full deployment of a controversial US anti-missile system created to deter a North Korean attack".

Those that are protecting Guam, the closest United States territory to North Korea, could be provided by a critical early tracking data to these missile interception systems.

The missiles flew about 200km, it said.

In early June, the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed new sanctions on North Korea and entities trading with it over its ongoing development of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and continued violations of UN Security Council resolutions.

North and South Korea remain in a technical state of war since their 1950-1953 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

The JCS said the South's military has beefed up surveillance and vigilance against the possibility of additional provocations, maintaining full preparedness.

North Korea regularly threatens Japan with nuclear annihilation.

"North Korea is carrying out carefully calibrated provocations... but restraining from ICBM tests or nuclear explosions which could bring about military retaliations by (US President Donald) Trump", he added. While this means it can not act against the type of intermediate-range missiles, North Korea has been testing its capability to undermine THAAD's radars in recent months. Compared to the different types of ballistic missiles Pyongyang has recently tested, the missiles launched on Thursday are considered to be more defensive in nature, created to defend against threats such as enemy warships. The number of missiles fired is believed to be four. "I think this might be what was used today", said Kim Dong-yub, a military expert at Kyungnam University's Far Eastern Studies in Seoul.

  • Julie Sanders