US and South Korean officials have said that North Korea conducted two short-range missile launches over the last weekend.
According to South Korea’s military, two cruise missiles were fired off North Korea’s west coast on 21 March.
The missiles launch marks ‘North Korea’s first publicly known weapons test’ since US President Joe Biden took office in January.
Senior officials from the US administration told reporters that the missiles were short-range, non-ballistic missile systems and were not covered by UN Security Council testing bans.
In a White House briefing statement, a senior administration official said: “We’re also aware of military activity last weekend by the DPRK that is not sanctioned under UN Security Council resolutions restricting the ballistic missile programme.
“While we take all of its military activity seriously and will continue to consult closely on this with partners and allies, we see this action in the category of normal activity, most normal military activity by the north.”
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The statement also adds: “North Korea has a familiar menu of provocations when it wants to send a message to a US administration: ballistic missiles of various range, mobile and submarine launch platforms, nuclear and thermonuclear tests.
“Experts rightly recognised what took place last weekend as falling on the low end of that spectrum.”