North Korea has previously threatened pre-emptive attacks on its enemies including South Korea, Japan and the United States. Military experts doubt it has developed the capability to fire a long-range missile with a miniaturized warhead to deliver a nuclear weapon as far as the United States yet.
North Korea on Thursday launched several projectiles off its coast into the sea that flew up to 150 kilometers (90 miles), South Korea’s defense ministry said, an apparent response to new sanctions imposed by the United Nations this week.
The U.N. Security Council passed a unanimous resolution on Wednesday dramatically expanding sanctions on North Korea following its fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6 and a long-range rocket launch on Feb. 7.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Thursday repeated a stern warning against the North to abandon its nuclear ambitions and said should would work to “end tyranny” by the North’s leader.
Last month, Seoul suspended the operation of a jointly run factory project with North Korea that had been the rivals’ last remaining venue for regular interaction.