North Korea Launches 8 Ballistic Missiles; Kim Jong-un 'Gearing Up For Nuclear Test'

North Korea, which currently heads the UN Disarmament Group, launched eight ballistic missiles off the east coast on Sunday, according to South Korea's Joint Chief of Staff. Short-range ballistic missiles were launched from the Sunan area into waters east of the Korean peninsula.

Seoul claimed that missiles were fired between 9:08 a.m. and 9:43 a.m. (local time). The missile launch is the 18th this year and it came after US President Joe Biden concluded his trip to Asia on May 25.

North Korea missile launch
North Korea has conducted 18 missile tests this year Twitter

North Korea Preparing For Nuclear Test

At least six of its missiles traveled at a distance of about 300-400 km and with an altitude of between 50 to 100 km.

With the recent missile test, the South Korean military speculated that Pyongyang could be prepping for a nuclear test.

Missile Test Doesn't Pose Any Threat To The US

The US Indo-Pacific Command also assessed the test and revealed that it doesn't pose any threat to the US or its allies.

A day before, the US aircraft Ronald Reagan concluded a naval drill in the region. The US and South Korea participated in the three-day naval exercise in the Philippine Sea. It was the first time after November 2017 that the joint drill witnessed the participation of an aircraft carrier.

Japan Fumes Over Missile Test

Japan has also fumed over the missile launch, underlining that it's a clear violation of UN resolutions.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida protested against the missile launch and Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi called the launch "unprecedented". Although missiles have fallen outside Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Kishi stated that an extremely large number of launches from at least three locations in a short period of time is unprecedented and underlined that such missile launches threaten international peace and security cannot be tolerated, according to CNN.

South Korean military has also strengthened its surveillance in the wake of the tests and noted that it's closely cooperating and maintaining a full readiness posture with the US.