Seoul: North Korea launches 2 ballistic missiles toward sea

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea launched two ballistic missiles toward the sea on Wednesday, South Korea’s military said.

The missile firings came three days after the leaders of South Korea and the United States agreed to consider expanded military exercises to deter North Korean nuclear threats during President Joe Biden’s visit to Seoul.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the missiles were fired toward waters off North Korea’s eastern coast. The statement gave no further details.

The launches were North Korea's 17th round of missile firings this year. Experts have said North Korea's testing is aimed at modernizing its weapons arsenal and at applying pressure on its rivals amid long-dormant nuclear diplomacy.

North Korea’s unusual pace in weapons tests this year included its first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile since 2017 in March.

U.S. and South Korean intelligence officials have that North Korea could soon conduct its first nuclear test in nearly five years.

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