North and South Korea conducted ballistic missile tests hours apart on Wednesday.
North Korea tested what the South Korean military identified as short-range ballistic missiles.
South Korea tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile.
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Both North and South Korea conducted ballistic missile tests within hours of one another on Wednesday, raising tensions on the Korean peninsula.
North Korea launched what the South Korean military identified as two short-range ballistic missiles just after noon (local time), NK News reported, citing the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff. The missiles flew about 500 miles and landed in the East Sea.
The ballistic missile test comes on the heels of another test conducted over the weekend involving long-range cruise missiles, what North Korean state media calls a "strategic weapon" and claimed flew 930 miles, giving it the ability to range targets throughout Japan.
North Korea's Academy of Defense Science said the cruise missiles are "another effective deterrence means for more reliably guaranteeing the security of our state and strongly containing the military maneuvers of the hostile forces against the [Democratic People's Republic of Korea]," CNN reported.
North Korea has not yet commented publicly on its latest ballistic missile test.
Though the US military said the missiles posed no "immediate threat" to the US or its allies, it noted that North Korea's activities "highlights the destabilizing impact of the DPRK's illicit weapons program." A US State Department spokesperson told Reuters that the US condemns the ballistic missile test, which violated UN Security Council resolutions.
On the other side of the peninsula, just hours after the North Korea test, South Korea tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile involving the new Dosan Ahn Chang-ho submarine.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in's office said in a statement that "possessing a SLBM has significant meaning in securing deterrence against omni-directional threats, and it is expected to play a key role in building self-defence capability and peace on the Korean peninsula," South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported.
South Korea joins the ranks of the US, Russia, China, India, France, and the UK in the successful development and testing of SLBM technology, typically viewed as a stealthy and more survivable launch platform that gives rivals one more reason not to attack for fear of a counter-attack. North Korea has developed SLBMs, but they have only been tested from submerged testing platforms, not actual submarines.
Speaking at the test site, Moon said that South Korea's "enhanced missile power can be a sure-fire deterrent to North Korea's provocation."
In the wake of Moon's comments suggesting that improved missile technology would provide sufficient deterrence against North Korea, Kim Yo Jong, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister, warned in a media statement of the "complete destruction" of inter-Korean relations if South Korea continues to slander North Korea, the AP reported.
North and South Korean ties have been strained since a push for diplomatic engagement fell apart last year.