Quoting South Korea’s military, AP has reported that North Korea fired three ballistic missiles off its east coast on Monday. The move, designed as a show of force timed to the G-20 economic summit at Hangzhou in eastern China, is seen as another blow to China’s big power image by its impoverished neighbour, which, though dependent on Beijing for 80 percent of its trade, has been using every opportunity to embarrass the Xi Jinping regime.
According to AP, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the three missiles, launched from the western North Korean town of Hwangju, flew across the country before splashing in the waters off its east coast, but officials did not describe the range of the missiles.
Before the firing, on Monday on the sidelines of the G-20 summit, South Korean President Park Geun-Hye criticized the North for what she called provocations that are hurting Seoul-Beijing ties, AP said
The launch comes four days before the 68th anniversary of the founding of North Korea’s government, and days after South Korean and U.S. troops ended annual joint summertime military drills, which North Korea regularly describes as a dress rehearsal for invasion. Last month, worries about the North’s weapons programs heightened after a missile from a North Korean submarine flew about 500 kilometers (310 miles), the longest distance achieved by the North for such a weapon.
The U.N. Security Council in late August strongly condemned four North Korean ballistic missile launches in July and August. It called them “grave violations” of a ban on all ballistic missile activity.