While the United States and South Korea are participating in their annual war games, which are slated to run through Thursday, North Korea decided to show off three more of its missiles on Saturday, local time.
The news broke Friday evening in the United States, and initially South Korea reported that the missiles were “unidentified projectiles.”
This comes while the United States and South Korea are conducting war games. North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has said that participating in these drills would be like “throwing fuel onto fire.”
It turns out that Pyongyang fired three short-range ballistic missiles from the Kangwon Province, according to the U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM), two of which “flew approximately 250 kilometers in a northeastern direction.”
USPACOM said the second missile “appears to have blown up almost immediately.”
“We will continue to work with our Interagency partners on a more detailed assessment of this latest launch and we will provide a public update if warranted,” USPACOM said.
USPACOM said it was determined that the missiles “did not pose a threat to Guam,” which North Korea recently threatened to bomb.
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula continue to run high.
The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) out of Pyongyang recently released new North Korean propaganda posters that “answer” the United States’ threats and warnings not to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) or threaten Guam, a U.S. territory in the Western Pacific. One of the posters shows the U.S. Capitol building being blown up.
The propaganda posters came on the heels of North Korea backing down and calling off its threat to bomb Guam.
The KCNA had said that Kim Jong Un might change his mind “if the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions.”
Rhetoric between the United States and North Korea has lately been nothing short of a soap opera.
On August 11 – prior to Mattis’ last comments, President Donald Trump threatened that Kim Jong Un will “truly regret it, and regret it fast” if North Korea were to fire any missile.
North Korea on August 8 threatened to attack Guam with intermediate-range Hwasong-12 missiles, and then said it would continue to plan a strike on the U.S. territory despite warnings from both President Trump and Defense Secretary Mattis, and that plans for the attack would be completed by mid-August.
This came on the heels of Trump saying August 8 that North Korea would be met with “fire and fury” if it continues to threaten the United States. And, Mattis also said North Korea should “cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and destruction of its people.”
Trump later said his “fire and fury” statement might not have been “tough enough,” and the President said August 10 for North Korea to “get their act together” or the country will be in trouble “like few nations have ever been.”
Trump also said August 10 that while Americans should be “very comfortable,” North Koreans should be “very, very nervous […] because things will happen to them like they never thought possible.”
On August 11, Trump tweeted and warned Kim Jong Un that: “Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!”
North Korea had responded to U.S. threats not long before that, saying it considers the United States “no more than a lump which we can beat to a jelly any time.”