North Korea launches trio of missiles amidst US-South Korea military drills

An intercontinental ballistic missile launches in North Korea

An intercontinental ballistic missile launches in North Korea

North Korea fired "several unidentified short-range projectiles" from Kittaeryong, Kangwon province, into the sea east of the Korean Peninsula, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

While Seoul and Washington say that the system, installed on South Korean territory, was created to intercept North Korean missiles, China believes its deployment has only escalated tensions in the region.

Three North Korea short-range ballistic missiles failed on Saturday, U.S. military officials said, which, if true, would be a temporary setback to Pyongyangs rapid nuclear and missile expansion. David Benham, a spokesman for U.S. Pacific Command, said the missile launches occurred "between 11:49 a.m. and 12:19 p.m. Hawaii time August 25".

The projectiles were launched at 06:49 on Saturday (21:49 GMT Friday), South Korea's Defence Ministry said.

The US is now in the middle of its annual joint military exercise with South Korea, that the North has called an invasion rehearsal.

Thousands of USA and South Korean troops are now taking part in joint military drills, which are mainly largely computer-simulated exercises.

"Despite the recent tensions, despite the missile launches, tourism continues here", Ripley said.

The presidential office in Seoul said the US and South Korean militaries will proceed with their ongoing war games “even more thoroughly” in response to the launch.

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This latest North Korean missile test would be the 12th ballistic missile test this year.

The Korean Central News Agency said that the “target striking contest” involved war planes, multiple-rocket launchers and self-propelled guns that attacked targets meant to represent South Koreas Baengnyeong and Yeonpyeong islands before special operation combatants “landed by surprise” on rubber boats.

Washington has long argued that any future talks with North Korea must have the aim of it giving up its nuclear weapons, something North Korea has rejected as long as the United States maintains a "hostile policy" towards it.

"Although the launches were no threat to Guam, it reminds us that we can not be complacent", Charfauros said.

It is also believed to be developing a solid-fuel missile that could be used for submarine launches.

The North American Aerospace Command (NORAD) determined the missiles "did not pose a threat to North America".

NPR's Elise Hu reports from Seoul that the US maintains the computer-based drills are purely defensive, but the North has long regarded them as preparations for invasion.