According to Seoul, South Korea, North Korea launched two “short-range ballistic missiles.”

Following Pyongyang’s warning of an “inevitable” response to ongoing US-South Korea joint military drills, South Korea’s military reported on Thursday that North Korea had fired two “ballistic missiles” with a small range.

The latest extensive joint military drills, live-fire “annihilation” exercises, are currently being conducted by the United States and South Korea, which have increased defence cooperation in response to growing threats from the nuclear-armed North.

The East Sea, also known as the “Sea of Japan,” was targeted by “two short-range ballistic missiles from the Sunan area between 19:25 and 19:37,” according to “Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.”

Japan also confirmed the launch, with a defence ministry official informing reporters that the two missiles had touched down in waters inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

Ties between the two Koreas are at their worst in years as a result of diplomatic efforts being halted, Kim Jong Un’s declaration of his nation as an “irreversible” nuclear state, and calls for increased manufacturing of weapons, particularly tactical nukes.

In reaction, the hardline administration of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has strengthened defence relations with the United States, boosting joint drills that had been pulled back because of COVID-19 and during a period of disastrous diplomacy.

On Thursday, North Korea issued a statement denouncing the drills, using the acronym DPRK—the nation’s official name—to accuse them of “targeting the DPRK by massively mobilising different kinds of dangerous weapons and equipment.”

As South Korea’s then-president Moon Jae-in pushed for a diplomatic breakthrough with Pyongyang, the office was set up in 2018 with funds from Seoul at a manufacturing area close to the frontier in “North Korean territory.”

However, once that procedure failed and the situation worsened, North Korea destroyed the structure in June 2020.

The “country’s Unification Ministry” referred to the destruction as “unambiguously an illegal act” and stated that Seoul was requesting 44.7 billion won ($35 million) in compensation. Although North Korea is likely to disregard any judgement from the court, awarding damages against its government has happened in South Korea and the US before.

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