SEOUL – North Korea has fired three more short-range ballistic missiles toward the East Sea Thursday night, the South Korean military said, about an hour after Pyongyang slammed Seoul and Washington's decision to extend joint air drills as a "very dangerous and wrong choice."
The missiles were launched from Koksan County in North Hwanghae Province at around 9:35 p.m., according to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).
Earlier in the day, the North fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and two short-range ballistic missiles.
The late night missile launch came less than an hour after Pak Jong-chon, secretary of the Central Committee of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party, released a statement denouncing South Korea and the US' earlier decision to extend the combined air drill Vigilant Storm that kicked off on Monday.
"The irresponsible decision of the U.S. and South Korea is shoving the present situation caused by provocative military acts of the allied forces to an uncontrollable phase," he said in a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency. "It is a very dangerous and false choice."
The missile launches are the North's apparent protest against Vigilant Storm, the allies' massive joint air drills involving more than 240 aircraft, including stealth jets, over the skies of the peninsula amid growing speculation that Pyongyang may conduct a nuclear test soon.
After the ICBM firing, South Korea's military announced that the air exercise will be extended, but did not provide details on until when the drills will be carried out. (Yonhap)