North Korea launched several short-range anti-ship cruise missiles into the sea and Sukhoi jets fired air-to-ground missiles on Tuesday as part of its ongoing military exercises, the South Korean military said.
The missile tests took place on the eve of a national holiday in NorthKoreato to celebrate the birthday of Kim Il-Sung, the founder of the country and grandfather of the current leader, Kim Jong-un.
Launched around 7 a.m. (10 p.m. GMT), the anti-ship missiles dived into the sea more than 150 kilometers (93 miles) off the east coast of the town of Munchon while the Sukhois were carrying out tests. of fire, officials from the Joint Staffs of South Korea. (JCS) told reporters.
The JCS gave no indication of the number of missiles fired, but said that a detailed analysis of the launches was underway in collaboration with American intelligence.
The latest tests were part of the winter exercises that the North has carried out in recent weeks after the coronavirus problems caused delays, a South Korean military official told Reuters.
“There has been an increase in air force activity which, in our view, was aimed at compensating for the lack of winter training they would otherwise have completed in late March,” said the official. “And they usually organize military events around the anniversary of April 15.”
The official noted that the North had used a similar anti-ship cruise missile in June 2017, the last time it was known to have tested such a weapon.
North Korea conducted weeks of military exercises, including several short-range ballistic missile launches. Last month, it fired nine ballistic missiles in four rounds of tests, analysts said.
North Korean state media reported on Sunday that leader Kim Jong-un visited an air base and observed exercises with the country’s fighter and attack aircraft.