North Korea Fires Scuds in Protest

As US and South Korean forces kicked off annual training exercises on the Korean peninsula on Monday, North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan in protest, reported South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency. The two missiles, with a range of 490 kilometers, lifted off from the port city of Nampo, according to the report, which cited senior South Korean military officials. They reportedly fit the profile of either Scud C- or Scud D-class missiles. The Korean Central News Agency, North Korea’s propaganda arm, on Monday launched a diatribe against the US-South Korean Key Resolve and Foal Eagle training exercises. In a release, the North Korean army general staff denounced the training as “dangerous nuclear war drills for invading” the North. However, North Korean forces would “never remain a passive onlooker to this grave situation,” continued the statement. The staff warned that North Korea’s “ground, sea, underwater, air, and cyber striking means” are “fully ready to strike.” The missile launches are a clear provocation in opposition to the joint exercises, said the South Korean military leadership. South Korea would “remain vigilant against any additional launches, while strengthening the readiness posture,” said the leadership. These were the third reported missile launches by North Korea this year.