SEOUL — North Korea launched three ballistic missiles toward the waters off its east coast on Wednesday, South Korea’s military said, as President Biden was wrapping up a trip to the region.
It was North Korea’s 17th missile test this year. The missiles were launched from Sunan, near Pyongyang, the North’s capital, at 6 a.m., 6:37 and 6:42, the South Korean military said. American and South Korean officials have warned in recent weeks that the North was ready to conduct either a nuclear test or an intercontinental ballistic missile test.
It last conducted an ICBM test on March 24, breaking a self-imposed moratorium that had been in place since 2018.
The missile launches on Wednesday were a strong signal from the North that it was embarking on a new cycle of tensions in the Korean Peninsula despite the country’s first reported outbreak of the coronavirus. It also constituted North Korea’s first public reaction to Mr. Biden’s trip to the region, where he met with the leaders of South Korea and Japan and vowed to step up measures, including joint military exercises, to help deter the growing nuclear and missile threat from the North.