South Korea's Defense Ministry said Wednesday that the previous day's rocket launches were a violation of UN Security Council resolutions, as the North did not notify anyone of the event in advance and the missiles jeopardized a commercial Chinese airliner flying through North Korean airspace.
"This is a violation of UN Security Council Resolutions and it has threatened the safety of a commercial airliner. Pyongyang should stop its provocations and abide by international standards."
Defense Ministry spokesperson Kim Min-seok labeled the launches as explicit acts of aggression against a series of ongoing military exercises by South Korea and the U.S., adding that Seoul is keeping a close watch on the possibility of additional provocations to come.
The missiles were short-range KN-02 ballistic missiles, and military sources in South Korea said Wednesday the North has around a hundred of the missiles in its arsenal.
The missiles can load up to 400 kilograms of explosives and chemical weapons, and dozens of the missiles can be launched in minutes.
The KN-02 has a maximum range of 170 kilometers and can hit a target at that distance in less than four minutes, posing a huge threat to the Seoul metropolitan area.
It is thought that 30 KN-02 missiles are mounted on mobile launch pads and have Seoul in their crosshairs.
North Korea has recently developed the multiple rocket launcher called the KN-09, which is presumed to have a target distance of 200 kilometers.
That means that missiles shot from the border could reach Gyeryongdae where the joint military bases of South Korea's Army, Air Force and Navy headquarters are located.
The Pentagon said Tuesday in its latest strategy document that North Korea poses a growing threat to the United States because of its pursuit of long-range missiles and nuclear weapons development.
The U.S. Defense Department said the U.S. military would keep up its investment in missile defense, while maintaining a major presence in the region.
Kim Hyun-bin, Arirang News.