North Korea launched two cruise missiles from the west coast of the country

Anna Kholodnova

North Korea fired two cruise missiles from the city of Onchon on the west coast of the country.

This was reported to Reuters by sources in South Korea.

Currently, the military of South Korea and the United States are analyzing the details of the missilesʼ flight, including their range.

The launches came a day after Seoul and Washington began a four-day joint exercise in preparation for the Ulchi Freedom Shield field exercises, which will run from August 22 to September 1.

The U.S. and South Korea have previously scaled back drills due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to reduce tensions with North Korea, which has seen the drills as a rehearsal for an invasion.

Pyongyang has not conducted a missile test for two months. The country struggled with the outbreak of COVID-19. On August 11, the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, announced victory in the fight against the coronavirus and ordered the cancellation of all anti-epidemic measures that were introduced only in May 2022.

Kim Jong-unʼs sister, Kim Yo-jong, blamed leaflets from South Korea for the outbreak and promised South Korea "deadly retribution."

North Korea is now preparing for a possible nuclear test, which will be the first since 2017.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, for his part, emphasized that he is still ready to provide phased economic aid to North Korea if it stops developing nuclear weapons and begins denuclearization.