Hours after President Joe Biden left Asia following a series of meetings with leaders in South Korea and Japan, North Korea launched three missiles toward the Sea of Japan.
It was the seventeenth time that North Korea has conducted missile tests this year and the first since May 12. Wednesday's (May 25) tests included an intercontinental ballistic missile and two short-range weapons. It was the first time since 2017 that North Korea had launched an ICBM.
According to Reuters, the other two missiles were KN-23 SRBMs, which are designed to fly at a lower trajectory to evade missile defenses.
Officials in South Korea also said that also North Korea conducted experiments with detonation devices in apparent preparation for its seventh nuclear test.
South Korea's deputy national security adviser, Kim Tae-hyo, said that one of the KN-23 SRBM missiles failed mid-flight.
In response to the missile tests, the United States and South Korea conducted live-fire drills, which included tests of both countries' surface-to-surface missile systems.
"We think it had political intentions, to test our new administration's security readiness ... and send a strategic message to South Korea and the United States after President Biden left," Kim said at a press briefing.