North Korea fired three ballistic missiles Monday morning, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, towards the Sea of Japan. Sources at Japan’s Defence ministry said the missiles likely landed in the sea 200 to 250 km (120-160 miles) west of Hokkaido, Japan’s northern-most main island.
This comes just under two weeks after Pyongyang test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile which entered Japan’s air defense identification zone, the first time that had happened.
It also comes at a potentially embarrassing time for North Korea’s only real ally, China, which is currently hosting the Group of Nations summit in Hangzhou.
At the G20, Chinese President Xi Jinping told his South Korean counterpart on Monday that Beijing opposes the deployment of the United States’ THAAD missile defense system to South Korea, according to China’s official Xinhua News Agency. The stated purpose of the THAAD system is to defend South Korea from missile attack from North Korea.