Speed Reads

Cutting it close

North Korea fires missiles hours after Harris ends visit to South Korea

North Korea fired its third round of missile launches this week hours after Vice President Kamala Harris wrapped up her visit to South Korea, The Associated Press reports.

The Thursday launch of two short-range ballistic missiles was just the latest in a series of weapons tests intended to pressure the U.S. government into acknowledging North Korea as a nuclear power. 

Harris ended her four-day tour of Asia by meeting with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and reiterating America's commitment to defending South Korea should a war break out with its northern neighbors. Harris also visited the Demilitarized Zone separating the two countries, and spoke about the potential threats of North Korea's escalating weapons testing. 

Per AP, some fear North Korea might soon conduct a nuclear test to garner the acknowledgment they seek.

In addition to the Thursday launch, North Korea also fired two short-range ballistic missiles on Wednesday, while Harris visited Japan, and one before she initially left the U.S. on Sunday. 

South Korean officials have also detected evidence suggesting North Korea has plans to escalate its weapons demonstrations even further. For instance, officials suspect North Korea is preparing "to test a ballistic missile system designed to be fired from submarines," AP writes.