Meanwhile, in a move likely to worsen tensions, the North fired two more short-range missiles into the East Sea (Sea of Japan) yesterday, defying warnings from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and South Korea after a flurry of similar tests at the weekend.
The latest firings were confirmed by the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff, which said it was unclear if the North was testing guided missiles or rockets from multiple launchers.
In a statement, Pyongyang reacted angrily to criticism that the missiles were a deliberate attempt to kick off a fresh cycle of tensions.
“Military training ... is the indisputable right of any sovereign nation,” the North Korean Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said. “Viciously taking issue with our military’s rocket firing training ... is an unacceptable challenge and a wanton provocation.”
North Korea fired three short-range guided missiles coast on Saturday and another on Sunday.
This story has been amended since it was first published.