SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea test-fired a pair of ballistic missiles with a potential range of striking Japan on Sunday, in a possible protest of Tokyo’s adoption of a new security strategy to push for more offensive footing against North Korea and China.
They said South Korea will boost a trilateral security cooperation with the U.S. and Japan, according to South Korea’s presidential office.
The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said the launches highlight the destabilizing impact of North Korea’s unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs.
Kwon Yong Soo, a former professor at Korea National Defense University in South Korea, said North Korea likely tested its Pukguksong-2 missile, a solid-fueled, land-based variant of its Pukguksong family of missiles that can be fired from submarines.
“North Korea staged an armed protest with a land version of a submarine-launched ballistic missile that it can fire quickly in response” to the Japanese national security strategy, Kwon said.
Some observers say North Korea might have tested a newly developed medium-range missile that can still reach Japan.
North Korea already has a growing arsenal of short-range, solid-fueled ballistic missiles targeting key locations in South Korea, including U.S. military bases there. »