Missile vs missile: North & South Korea enter test duel
North Korea and South Korea test fired ballistic missiles on Wednesday, the latest volley in an arms race. South Korea tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile, becoming the first country without nuclear weapons to develop such a system.
South Korean President Moon was attending that test firing when word came of the North Korean launches, its first ballistic missile tests since March. North Korea fired a pair of ballistic missiles that landed in the sea off its east coast, according to officials in South Korea and Japan, just days after it tested a cruise missile.
Japan's defence ministry said late on Wednesday the missiles had landed inside Japan's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), contradicting earlier government comments that they fell outside its waters.
North Korea has been steadily developing its weapons systems amid a stand-off over talks aimed at dismantling its nuclear and ballistic missile arsenals in return for US sanctions relief.
The United States condemned North Korea's missile launch, saying it was in violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions and posed a threat to Pyongyang's neighbours, a State Department spokesperson said, without mentioning South Korea's tests.