Kim Jong Un Fires 2 Short-Range Ballistic Missiles — 'Incredibly Concerning,' Says UN Nuclear Watchdog

Kim Jong Un fired two short-range ballistic missiles toward the sea on Friday as Seoul was wrapping up its annual military drill.

What Happened: South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff said its neighbor Pyongyang fired two missiles that flew toward North Korea’s eastern waters, CNN reported.

“Our military has strengthened its surveillance and vigilance, and it is maintaining a fully prepared posture while closely cooperating with the U.S.,” the JCS added.

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The launch comes ahead of the closure of South Korea’s annual 12-day “Hoguk” field exercises that involved an unspecified number of U.S. troops this year. This was the latest in a series of weapons tests by Kim in recent weeks. Recently, the North Korean military also fired artillery shells into the waters off its coast to send a “serious warning” to South Korea.

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Meanwhile, the South Korean military confirmed on Tuesday that Seoul and U.S. air forces are planning to conduct their combat readiness training exercise from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4 in South Korean airspace.

Why It’s Important: The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog chief said that there are indications that North Korea may be preparing for a nuclear test. “Everybody is holding its breath about this,” International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi said, reported Reuters.

Grossi said a seventh nuclear test by North Korea would be further “confirmation of a program which is moving full steam ahead in a way that is incredibly concerning.” 

However, according to experts, Kim may not rush his seventh nuclear test before the U.S. midterm elections with hopes pinned on Donald Trump’s return to the top office.

Read Next: Trump’s ‘Love Letters’ To Kim Jong Un Reportedly Reveal North Korean Leader Was ‘Ready To Work’ With US On Denuclearization


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