North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile this week as a warning against continued US-South Korean military drills, state media said Friday.
The missile, launched Thursday, was intended to “give a stronger warning to the enemies intentionally escalating the tension,” according to Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
It was the second ICBM launched by North Korea this year, and was fired just hours before South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol was scheduled to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
The aggressive escalation brings attention to US messaging on the North Korean issue.
The Department of Defense claimed Thursday its frequent joint military exercises with South Korea continues to deter North Korean attacks.
“I think what’s important for people to understand is, one, deterrence continues to work,” Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters at a daily Department of Defense press briefing.
“Despite launching missiles into the ocean, North Korea is not attacking, nor should they, and that the United States, Japan, South Korea and other allies and partners in the region will continue to work together to expand that deterrence and to keep our countries safe,” Ryder stated.