North Korea launches trio of missiles amidst US-South Korea military drills

“The first and third missiles… failed in flight”.

The test “shows an advance in capability”, says The Times because the “missiles were 300-millimeter rockets fired from a multiple-tube launcher”.

North Korea has fired several short-range missiles into the sea off its east coast according to the USA military, as South Korea and the U.S. conduct annual joint military drills.

North Korea fired three short-range ballistic missiles Saturday, the U.S. military said, following weeks of heightened tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.

Two of the missiles flew about 150 miles while the other one appears to have blown up nearly instantly.

North Korea has conducted more than a dozen missile tests this year as Kim Jong Un’s regime seeks the capability to hit the continental USA with a nuclear weapon.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said US President Donald Trump was aware of the launches.

In recent weeks the North has threatened to fire a salvo of missiles toward the US Pacific territory of Guam, but has since backed away from the plan and tensions have eased.

Though North Korea says it now has the ability to send missiles to the United States mainland, US defense officials said these short-range missiles did not pose a threat to North America or Guam.

In a written statement on Saturday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned the ballistic missile launch.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un guides a target-striking contest of the special operation forces of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) to occupy islands in this undated picture provided by KCNA in Pyongyang on August 25, 2017. -South Korea war games.

The firings come after the United Nations agreed to impose costly economic sanctions on the country.

China and Russian Federation had been calling on the United States to scale back the exercises, but the Pentagon said the decrease in troops was due to operational reasons, rather than to tamp down tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea had walked back from the threat to lob missiles toward Guam, but there had been concerns that hostility will flare up again during the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian drills between the allies that run through August 31.

The U.S. and its allies had warned Kim against launching missiles toward Guam, home to key American military bases in the Pacific.

The ICBMs that North Korea fired last month were theoretically capable of reaching Denver and Chicago, a development that has alarmed policymakers but which nonproliferation experts say is clearly in line with Kim’s stated aims.

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