North Korea launched a pair of cruise missiles early Tuesday, according to South Korea’s military, Pyongyang’s fifth missile test of the new year.
The missiles were fired from an inland area and landed in the sea off Korea’s east coast, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.
South Korea’s military confirmed the launch in a message to VOA, saying authorities are still conducting a detailed analysis.
So far this year, North Korea has fired eight missiles during five separate launch events. Last week, North Korea also threatened to resume long-range missile and nuclear tests.
North Korea is prohibited from any ballistic missile activity, including launches of any range, by a series of United Nations Security Council resolutions. The resolutions, however, do not prohibit cruise missile tests.
North Korea has recently expressed displeasure with what it calls the “hostile policy” of the United States. Particularly, it has taken issue with U.S.-South Korea military cooperation.
The United States has about 28,000 troops in South Korea — a remnant of the 1950s Korean War, which ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty.
Under U.S. President Joe Biden, Washington has regularly announced it is open to talks with North Korea without preconditions.
“They’ve shown no desire to move that forward,” Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said at a regular press briefing Monday.
Kirby reiterated U.S. concerns about North Korea’s “advancing nuclear ambitions and ballistic missile capabilities.”
“We continue to condemn it and to call on the north to cease these provocations and to abide by international law and these security council resolutions and to try to find ways to deescalate the tensions,” he added.