North Korea Fires More Projectiles Ahead of Joint U.S.-South Korea Military Drill

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea on Tuesday launched two projectiles toward the sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, days before the United States and South Korea were scheduled to begin a joint military exercise.

The launch marked the fourth test of projectiles in 13 days by North Korea.

The two projectiles were fired from a province in the southwest of North Korea, and landed in waters off the North’s east coast, the South Korean military said in a statement.

South Korean defense officials said they were still analyzing data to determine what type of projectiles were launched on Tuesday, as well as their range.

South Korean officials have said that in the three previous tests that began on July 25, North Korea had launched short-range ballistic missiles. Under a series of United Nations resolutions, North Korea is banned from developing or testing ballistic missiles.

But North Korea has said its recent tests are of new types of tactical guided missiles and large-caliber multiple rocket launchers. North Korea has cited various reasons for its recent resumption of weapons tests, including the modernization of its military.

With the tests, North Korea could also be signaling its opposition to the joint military drill scheduled to begin this week. Last month, it warned that if the United States and South Korea did not cancel the drill, it might scuttle efforts to resume dialogue with Washington and even resume nuclear and long-range missile tests.

North Korea condemns joint military drills by the South and the United States as rehearsals of invasion and had often countered them with its own missile and other weapons tests.

When the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, met with President Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam, in February, they failed to agree on how to start dismantling the North’s nuclear program.

The two leaders met again briefly on the South-North border on June 30 and agreed to resume staff-level talks to narrow their differences. But such talks have yet to begin.