South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed Wednesday that North Korea test-fired two short-range cruise missiles toward the West Sea last weekend, but the missiles were not ballistic, which would've been a violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
According to South Korean military officials, North Korea is currently holding its wintertime drills, which are believed to have begun in December and usually run through the end of March.
The last time North Korea test-fired multiple short-range cruise missiles was last April that time toward the East Sea.
The South Korean military's statement comes after the Washington Post and Reuters cited U.S. officials as confirming the launches and speculated the move was a way to pressure the Biden administration as it reviews its North Korea policy.
But it's also reported that U.S. President Joe Biden was quoted as saying the launches had little to no impact on the U.S. policy toward Pyeongyang.
The timing of the recent test-fire comes right after South Korea and the U.S. completed its annual springtime drills held in the Korean peninsula.
Kim Yo-jong, the North Korean leader's powerful sister, slammed the drills and sent a mild warning to Washington as top U.S. officials visited Seoul for bilateral talks last week.
Also, North Korea's First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui confirmed the regime will continue to ignore any contact from the U.S. even from a "third country" unless Washington withdraws its hostile policies toward Pyeongyang.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.