North Korea fired three ballistic missiles on Tuesday which flew between 500 and 600 km (300-360 miles) into the sea off its east coast, South Korea’s military said, the latest in a series of provocative moves by the isolated country.
The U.S. military said it detected launches of what it believed were two Scud missiles and one Rodong, a home-grown missile based on Soviet-era Scud technology.
North Korea has fired both types numerous times in recent years, an indication that unlike recent launches that were seen as efforts by the North to improve its missile capability, Tuesday’s were meant as a show of force.
“This smells political rather than technical to me,” said Melissa Hanham, a senior research associate at the U.S.-based Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California.
“I think the number and distance of the missiles lets them remind the ROK (Republic of Korea) of what they are up against,” she said, referring to South Korea by its official name.