North Korea fires two more missiles after warning US over sanctions
North Korea is reported to have fired at least two ballistic missiles just hours after hitting out a US "provocation" for new sanctions and warning of a strong reaction.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said Friday it had detected what it presumed were two short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) launched eastward from North Pyongan Province on the west coast of North Korea, near the border with China.
Japan's coast guard also said it had detected "the launch from North Korea of what appears to be a ballistic missile or missiles at 14:55 (0555 GMT)."
The test would be the third since the start of the New Year.
Early on Friday, the North defended its latest missile tests as a legitimate right to self-defense, warning of a strong response if Washington pressed ahead with its provocative move to impose new sanctions on Pyongyang.
North Korea's foreign ministry spokesperson said the country’s recent development of what US claims to be a "new-type weapon" was just part of its efforts to modernize its national defense capability and did not target any specific country or harm the security of neighboring countries.
A statement carried by state news agency KCNA underlined that the United States was intentionally escalating the situation by imposing new sanctions on Pyongyang.
"The US accusation of the DPRK's legitimate exercise of the right to self-defense is an evident provocation and a gangster-like logic," it said, using the initials of North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).
The spokesperson warned of an unspecified "stronger and certain reaction" if the United States adopts a confrontational stance.