North Korea launched three ballistic missiles Monday morning in its latest banned series of military weapons testing, according to South Korea. The moves comes just barely two weeks after North Korea test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (IBM) from a submarine.
North Korean equipment was discovered at the site of a nuclear plant under development in Syria that was destroyed in an air strike nearly a decade ago, allegedly by the Israeli Air Force. Israel never formally acknowledged its role in the attack, in accordance with state policy that prohibits comment on such attacks.
The southeastern Asian nation has been actively engaged in sharing nuclear technology with Iran, which has declared its intention to annihilate Israel.
The North Korean IBM launched two weeks ago penetrated Japanese air defense space, as did Monday’s missiles, which entered the defense zone in the Sea of Japan without warning.
The missiles were fired from the country’s Hwangju province on the western coast, towards the east and landed in the sea.
It is believed they were mid-range Rodong missiles and reached approximately 1,000 kilometers (620 miles). Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada told CNN it appears North Korea is quickly mastering the learning curve.
“Looking at the fact that the three missiles have landed on almost the same spot at almost the same time, I think their missile technology has substantially improved,” she said.
North Korea’s sole ally, China, is currently hosting the G20 summit in Hangzhou, where the issue was raised immediately and where China attempted to pour oil on troubled waters.
“The situation on the [Korean] peninsula is quite complex and sensitive,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying. “We hope all relevant parties can avoid taking actions that may escalate tensions and can make joint efforts to maintain peace and stability on the peninsula.”
The United States “strongly condemned” the multiple launches, calling the move “reckless” and noting the threat to civil aviation and maritime commerce in the region. U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to attend the summit.