North Korea test-fires 2 missiles as US carrier begins exercises with South Korean warships

North Korea on Monday test-fired two more missiles hours before the nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier USS Nimitz began joint military exercises with South Korean warships.

Tensions in the Korean Peninsula have been high as the U.S. moves to build its relationship with South Korea and as North Korea protests the military drills, showing its own nuclear force in response.

The latest two missile firings mark North Korea’s seventh missile test this month.

South Korea’s military said the two short-range ballistic missiles were launched from a western inland area south of North Korea’s capital of Pyongyang and flew over 200 miles. Japan’s military said the missiles traveled on an irregular trajectory.

“North Korea is severely threatening the Korean Peninsula and the regional security order through multiple ballistic missile launches including ICBMs, and implications of their offensive use of nuclear weapons through their self-proclaimed ‘nuclear counterstrike tactical trainings,'” said South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Seung-kyum Kim in a statement after visiting the USS Nimitz.

The South Korea-U.S. alliance “will respond in a resolute and overwhelming manner to any and all enemy provocations and aggression” and “will make it profoundly clear the following fact: any attempts of an enemy nuclear attack will surely mean the end of their regime,” Kim said.

Last week, North Korea said it used a ballistic missile launch to simulate a nuclear attack on South Korea.

The U.S. has upped its presence in the region while China gets friendlier with Russia and more upset over the self-governing island of Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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