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North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea: NBC

Key Points
  • North Korea on Friday fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea, multiple intelligence sources told NBC News.
  • Since 2011, Kim Jong Un has fired more than 90 missiles and had four nuclear weapons tests, which is more than what his father, Kim Jong Il, and grandfather, Kim Il Sung, launched over a period of 27 years.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un observes a target-striking contest by the Korean People's Army (KPA) in this undated photo, released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), April 13, 2017.
KCNA | Reuters

WASHINGTON — North Korea on Friday fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea, multiple intelligence sources told NBC News.

The missiles did not appear to pose any immediate threat to the U.S. or its allies in the region, NBC reported.

North Korea's latest provocation comes hours since Pyongyang last fired of a pair of similar missiles.

On Wednesday, North Korea fired two ballistic missiles from the Hodo Peninsula in South Hamgyong province on the country's east coast. The projectiles appeared to be a different type to previous launches, National Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo said, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.

The Pentagon did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

President Donald Trump, who has pointed to the absence of nuclear tests as evidence that his diplomatic strategy with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has worked, said outside the White House on Thursday that he wasn't worried about the new tests because they are standard, short-range missiles. Trump said he was still open to negotiations with Kim despite the missile launches.

"These are short-range missiles -- we never discussed that," Trump told reporters on the White House South Lawn. "We discussed nuclear. A lot of other countries test that kind of missile."

This week's tests come on the heels of an earlier test in July that marked the first provocation since Kim and Trump agreed to revive denuclearization talks in June.

North Korea, the only nation to have tested nuclear weapons this century, spent most of Trump's first year in office perfecting its nuclear arsenal. The newest member of the world's exclusive nuclear weapons club has stopped testing of its nukes for now as the U.S. and international community offer the possibility of relief from crippling economic sanctions.

While North Korea has paused nuclear tests that prompted Trump's threat to bring "fire and fury" upon that country, it had already made significant progress before the historic dialogue with the U.S. started.

Under the third-generation North Korean leader, the reclusive state has conducted its most powerful nuclear test, launched its first-ever intercontinental ballistic missile and threatened to send missiles into the waters near the U.S. territory of Guam.

Since 2011, Kim has fired more than 90 missiles and had four nuclear weapons tests, which is more than what his father, Kim Jong Il, and grandfather, Kim Il Sung, launched over a period of 27 years.