North Korea has fired two more powerful mid-range ballistic missiles, U.S. and South Korean officials said early Wednesday.
The launches brought to six the number of missile test firings since April — which Western officials say are in violation of U.N. Security Council Resolutions.
The U.S. Strategic Command in Hawaii said its systems detected and tracked two suspected Musudan missiles that apparently fell into the Sea of Japan on Wednesday.
A Musudan has a range of 1,200 to 2,400 miles and is theoretically capable of reaching bases on the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.
The missiles launches didn’t pose a threat to North America, U.S. Strategic Command added in a statement.
A statement from South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the suspected first Musudan launch from the east coast city of Wonsan failed Wednesday.
Japan’s defense ministry said the first missile’s range showed North Korea has been made advances in developing the missiles.
“The threat to Japan is intensifying,” Defense Minister Gen Nakatani told reporters in Tokyo.
It was not immediately clear if the second launch was a success or a failure — like most of the recent Musudan tests.
The launches have been conducted in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions that prohibit Pyongyang from using ballistic missile technology.
State Department spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. strongly condemned Wednesday’s launch and other recent missile tests, which he called “provocative.”
“We intend to raise our concerns at the UN,” he said. “We call on North Korea to refrain from actions that further raise tensions in the region and focus instead on taking concrete steps toward fulfilling its commitments and international obligations.”