According to Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), one of the missiles that Pyongyang launched was a short-range ballistic missile that landed close to South Korean territorial waters for the first time since the division of Korea.
It was also the most missiles fired by the North in a single day, and it was the first time a ballistic missile had landed near South Korean waters since the peninsula was divided in 1945.
JCS noted that the missile landed in international waters 167 kilometers (104 miles) northwest of South Korea’s Ulleungdo island, which was located around 26 kilometers south of the Northern Limit Line (NLL) – the de facto inter-Korean maritime border that North Korea does not recognize.
The launches came only hours after Pyongyang urged an end to extensive military drills between South Korea and the United States, claiming that such "military rashness and provocation can no longer be permitted."
John Kirby, the White House's national security spokesman, described the North Korean launches as "reckless" and promised that the U.S. would take steps to ensure that it has the military resources necessary to defend its treaty allies Japan and South Korea.
The missile touched down south of the Northern Limit Line (NLL), a contentious maritime border between North and South Korea, but outside of South Korea's territorial seas.
"Strictly speaking, it did not land in our territory, but in the Exclusive Economic Zone under our jurisdiction, therefore it was not subject to interception," a senior presidential official responded when asked whether the missile was heading toward the South's territory and if it should have been intercepted. (Related: North Korea's satellites revealed to be in "ideal position" to unleash EMP attack on America's most populated cities.)
Kirby said the U.S. has received information that North Korea is covertly supplying Russia with a "significant" number of artillery shells for its conflict in Ukraine. He added that Washington will also consult with the United Nations on accountability issues regarding the shipments. He also noted that North Korea was trying to hide the shipments by passing them through nations in the Middle East and North Africa.
North Korea is also getting into the nerves of Japan. On Wednesday, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters that North Korea is launching missiles at an "unprecedentedly high frequency." Kishida has already called for a National Security Council meeting to be held as soon as possible due to the rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Japan's Ministry of Defense said North Korea conducted another launch, which included at least one more ballistic missile toward the east that fell into the sea outside of Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone.
"North Korea has rapidly escalated its provocations, launching more than a dozen missiles today alone and reportedly firing more than 100 artillery shells into the Japan sea since announcing an extremely provocative statement earlier in the day," said Toshiro Ino, Japan's deputy minister of defense.
The ballistic missile flew a short distance at a maximum altitude of fewer than 50 kilometers. No damage to aircraft or vessels has been reported.
Meanwhile, Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong tweeted on Wednesday: "North Korea's unprecedented launch of multiple ballistic missiles is recklessly threatening the security of the Republic of Korea. Pyongyang must cease this action."
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This video is from the High Hopes channel on Brighteon.com.