South Korea said its military will strengthen security cooperation with the US and Japan, including the deployment of “US strategic assets,” after North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles Sunday.

Iran PressAsia: South Korea’s National Security Council said in a statement after an urgent meeting to brief President Yoon Suk Yeol. The missiles were launched from the Munchon area in Kangwon province between 1:48 a.m. and 1:58 a.m., the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in an email.

The missile tests add to 10 launched by North Korea over the past two weeks. 

The incidents hearken back to the autumn of 2017, when North Korea unleashed its largest barrage of long-range rockets and detonated a nuclear bomb, prompting fresh UN sanctions.

The missiles launched Sunday flew about 350 kilometers (217 miles) and reached an altitude of 90 km at top speeds of Mach 5, according to the JCS statement. The South Korean and US military forces will establish a heightened state of readiness, the statement quoted JCS Chairman General Kim Seung-kyum and General Paul LaCamera, commander of the South Korea-US Combined Forces Command, as saying.

Pyongyang said on Monday that its tactical nuclear unit held training exercises from Sept. 25 to Oct. 9 to verify the country’s deterrence and counterattack capabilities, and to send a severe warning to its enemies.

The North Korean leader presided over the exercises and said that he didn’t see a need to hold talks in the face of military threats, according to the official news agency KCNA.

North Korea on Saturday also criticized the presence of the carrier group as “extremely worrisome,” saying that its armed forces are taking a serious approach toward its deployment.


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