After firing a short-range ballistic missile on Thursday, North Korea warned the United States and its regional allies of a "fiercer" military response.
The South Korean military detected a short-range ballistic missile fired from the Wonsan area in Kangwon province around 10.48 am local time. It landed in the waters between the Korean peninsula and Japan.
This was North Korea's first ballistic missile firing in eight days and the latest in its barrage of tests in recent months. Pyongyang previously said that some of the tests were simulations of nuclear attacks on South Korean and U.S targets.
South Korean and U.S militaries staged missile defense drills on Thursday to review a combined readiness to North Korean provocations.
Tensions Brought By U.S-South Korea-Japan Accord
Choe Sun Hui, North Korean Foreign Minister, warned that a recent U.S-South Korea-Japan summit accord on the North would leave tensions on the Korean peninsula more unpredictable.
"The keener the U.S is on the bolstered offer of extended deterrence to its allies and the more they intensify provocative and bluffing military activities on the Korean peninsula and in the region, the fiercer North Korea's military counteraction will be, in direct proportion to it," Choe said. "It will pose a more serious, realistic and inevitable threat to the U.S and its vassal forces."
However, the minister didn't disclose the steps Pyongyang would take but said that Washington would be aware that it is gambling, and will certainly regret. Choe said the United States and its followers staged large-scale drills for aggression but failed to contain North Korea's overwhelming counteraction.
This statement is the rogue nation's first official response to U.S president Joe Biden's trilateral summit with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts on the sidelines of a regional gathering in Cambodia.
Leaders of the three countries strongly condemned Pyongyang's recent missile tests and agreed to work together to strengthen deterrence. Biden reinstated U.S's commitment to defend South Korea and Japan with a range of capabilities, including its nuclear arms.
The U.S president also discussed North Korea's recent missile tests with Chinese president Xi Jinping in Bali on the sidelines of the G20 summit. Biden urged China to use its influence to rein in North Korea as the missile launches raised fears that the reclusive regime would soon carry out its seventh nuclear test.
Curb and Deter North Korea's Threats
South Korea's Defense Ministry said the purpose of the trilateral summit was to coordinate a joint response in an effort to curb and deter advancing nuclear and missile threats by North Korea.
Moon Hong Sik, the ministry's spokesperson, said security cooperation among Seoul, Washington and Tokyo was contributing to solidifying U.S's extended deterrence to its allies. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff described the latest missile launch as a "grave provocation" that undermines peace and security on the Korean peninsula. Japan's Defense Ministry said it threatens the peace and safety of Japan, the region and the international society, while the U.S-Pacific Command said the launch highlights the destabilizing impact of North Korea's unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs.