North Korea has fired two short-range ballistic missiles off the Korean Peninsula early Wednesday —a continuation of missile and rocket test launches, according to a South Korean Defense Ministry authority.
The presumed Scud-series missiles flew more than 310 miles and fired from the southwest Hwanghae province, said the official who requested anonymity due to department rules.
Rationale behind the launch
The test launches followed a recent visit by the Chinese president to South Korea.
Traditionally, Chinese leaders visit Pyongyang before Seoul. The visit had been considered as a snub to North Korea, according to a few reports.
The launch also followed South Korea’s rejection of the North’s proposal to reduce bilateral tensions, saying it should first demonstrate a serious attitude towards nuclear disarmament if it truly wants peace. The draft agreement included the cancellation of regular military drills between Seoul and Washington.
Reactions of various nations
Despite the large number of test-firings of missiles, artillery and rockets, North Korea did not declare a no-fly zone. The test launches reaped criticism from South Korea, the United States and the United Nations.
Adding to this, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered his cabinet to scrutinize the apparent launch. The Japanese government was planning to lodge an official protest against the North Korean government.