The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea on Monday and warned of “merciless strikes” against its enemies as allies Seoul and Washington launched annual military drills Pyongyang claims are preparation for a northward invasion.
The DPRK regularly conducts such test firings of missiles, rockets, and artillery, and they are often timed to express the country’s dissatisfaction with actions by the U.S. and South Korea.
Monday was the start of military drills — called Key Resolve and Foal Eagle — that will run until the end of April.
Early Monday morning, two missiles launched from the DPRK’s west coast flew about 310 miles (about 500 kilometers) before landing in waters off the east coast, according to South Korea’s Defense Ministry.
The annual U.S.-South Korean military drills inevitably led to angry DPRK rhetoric, although the allies say they are purely defensive.
“The only means to cope with the aggression and war by the U.S. imperialists and their followers is neither dialogue nor peace. They should be dealt with only by merciless strikes,” an unidentified spokesman for the DPRK military’s general staff said in a statement carried by state media.