The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, North Korea) has reportedly conducted a test launch of short-range ballistic missiles into the sea off the east coast.  

The launch, which took place on 22 April, was confirmed by South Korea and Japan. 

According to the Associated Press, South Korea’s JCS reported that the missiles, launched from the North’s capital region, flew approximately 300km before landing in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.  

This range indicates that the missiles could potentially target locations within South Korea, the JCS said.  

The JCS have strongly condemned the launches as a “clear provocation” and a threat to peace on the Korean Peninsula, vowing to maintain readiness in coordination with the US. 

Japan Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi has also detailed that at least one ballistic missile was launched by North Korea, travelling 250km at a maximum altitude of around 50km.  

Hayashi expressed that North Korea’s frequent missile tests and other provocative actions pose a threat to the peace and safety of Japan, the region and the broader international community.  

The latest incident comes shortly after South Korean military officer admiral Kim Myung-soo and US Space Command Commander General Stephen Whiting held discussions on North Korea’s satellite development and increasing military ties with Moscow, Reuters reported.  

The US Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) have also condemned the missile launches, with the FCDO highlighting it as a violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions. 

A UK FCDO spokesperson said: “Unlawful ballistic missile launches continue to destabilise the peace and security of the Korean Peninsula. The UK strongly urges North Korea to stop such provocations, return to dialogue and take credible steps towards denuclearisation.” 

A USINDOPACOM statement said: “While we have assessed that this event does not pose an immediate threat to US personnel or territory, or to our allies, the missile launch highlights the destabilising impact of the DPRK’s illicit weapons programme.”