North Korea fired four short-range missiles into the East Sea, a South Korean defense official reported Thursday. According to South Korea’s YTN news network the missiles were purported to have an estimated 100 mile range capability.
The missiles were fired from a mountain next to the South Korean border as a protest to the U.S. and South Korean military drills that commenced this week, The Associated Press reports. North Korea views the military exercises as preparations for war.
These drills have only added to frustrations as North Korea became agitated earlier this month when a nuclear-capable U.S. B-52 bomber flew over South Korea, Reuters said.
The U.S. and South Korea have been vague about where they have positioned these military drills and it is uncertain whether the missiles were aimed toward the military activities, CNN reports.
South Korea was so upset by these scheduled military drills that it threatened to cancel family reunions between North and South Koreans who were separated during the war. However, reunions were permitted to go ahead as scheduled last week, after discussions between the neighboring countries transpired, the AP said.
North Korea’s cooperation with the reunions is a rare show of good faith that some experts say is generated by North Korea’s need for foreign aid and money, the AP reported.
And though South Korea has offered to send vaccines and
disinfectants in light of North Korea’s recent outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease,
it says it will still remain cautious of its aggressive neighbor.
“Our military will maintain tight vigilance in preparation for additional launches or any military provocation from the North," a South Korean ministry spokesman said according to The Guardian.