The US has increased its surveillance and reconnaissance collection in the Yellow Sea, in response to recent ballistic missile launches by North Korea.

North Korea conducted a record number of missile tests in January this year. The reclusive nation resumed testing last week by firing two missiles, Reuters reported.

In a statement, the US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) said that it has ordered intensified intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance collection activities in the Yellow Sea, in light of recent missile launches.

The military command further said that it has also ‘enhanced readiness’ among its ballistic missile defence forces in the region.

“The US condemns the recent series of ballistic missile launches by the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea], including the launch on the morning of 5 March Korea Standard Time.

“These launches violate multiple UN Security Council resolutions, and pose a threat to the DPRK’s neighbours, and the international community.”

The statement added that the US remains committed to the complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula through diplomatic efforts.

In one of the recent missile tests, North Korea reportedly fired a ballistic missile that reached a maximum altitude of approximately 620km and travelled 300km.

North Korean state news agency KCNA said that the country will launch multiple military reconnaissance satellites into sun-synchronous polar orbit, to develop its intelligence-gathering capabilities.

The launch of the satellites will be carried out as part of the five-year plan announced last year, the news agency added.