North Korea on Monday fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the Pacific Ocean, with the sister of leader Kim Jong Un saying that the nation’s use of the waters as “our firing range” depends on the “action” of U.S. forces.
“Using the Pacific as our firing range depends on the character of the action of U.S. forces,” said Kim Yo Jong in a statement shared by North Korean state news media.
The new launches come after North Korea on Saturday fired a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) into the ocean off Japan’s coast, a move the U.S. National Security Council called “a flagrant violation of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions.”
Though the U.S. assessed no imminent threat, it said North Korea’s move “needlessly raises tensions and risks destabilizing the security situation in the region.”
North Korea fired dozens of missiles last year, and the latest two launches come as North Korea appears angered by joint military exercises from the U.S. and South Korea, and by a U.S. bomber flight that flew in response to the earlier ICBM.
Kim said in her statement that North Korea will “closely examine the state of influence” of U.S. forces active in the Korean Peninsula and vowed to “take corresponding countermeasure[s] if it is judged to cause any concern.”
“There is no change in our will to make the top-class fanatics straining the situation pay dearly,” the leader’s sister said.
In the wake of the firings, Japan has requested an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.