N. Korean provocation cannot stop U.S.-S. Korea joint military drills: NSC coordinator

North Korea's continued provocations will not stop the United States from conducting joint military exercises with South Korea, a spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council (NSC) said Tuesday.

North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles on Tuesday (Korea time), marking its fifth missile launch this year.

"If they (missile launches) are designed to disrupt or delay alliance's training events, then they will fail," NSC coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby told a telephonic press briefing.

"We are going to continue to train with our ROK allies," he added, referring to South Korea by its official name, the Republic of Korea.

The North's latest missile provocation came one day after Seoul and Washington launched a joint military drill, known as Freedom Shield.

"There's not going to be any change to our training with our Korean allies," Kirby reiterated.

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command earlier said the North Korean missiles fired Tuesday did not pose an immediate threat to the U.S. or allies, but pointed out that the missile launches were in violation of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions.

North Korea fired an unprecedented 69 ballistic missiles in 2022, each in violation of Security Council resolutions.

Pyongyang has warned of "overwhelming actions" against joint military exercises of South Korea and the U.S., accusing them of being aimed at invading the North.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price dismissed the accusation on Monday, saying the joint military drills are "routine" and "purely defensive" events.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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