KIM Jong-un tonight launched two short-range military missiles in a shocking show of defiance to Donald Trump.
Military leaders in neighbouring South Korea say the surprise launch took place in the Wonsan region in east of the rogue state.
Both projectiles travelled around 270 miles before falling into the Sea of Japan – also known as the East Sea – say reports from the troubled region.
It is the first missile test reported since President Trump and North Korean leader met at the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between the two Koreas at the end of June.
The White House, Pentagon and US State Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
However, the joint chiefs said South Korean and US militaries were reportedly analysing details of the launches.
A US defence official said the secret launch appears to be similar to the recent May 2019 launch where two short range missiles were also launched.
“North Korea is clearly upset that the US and South Korea are conducting joint military exercises,” said Harry Kazianis of Washington’s Center for the National Interest.
“We should not be shocked by this move and, in fact, we should have seen it coming.”
Pyongyang resumed missile tests following a moratorium of over a year, as negotiations with Donald Trump over disarmament and denuclearisation stalled.
North Korea’s most recent test was in May when a pair of missiles timed precisely 9 minutes before and 9 minutes after a US test of a nuclear Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
In a brazen taunt, dictator Kim watched the firing of the weapon at North Korea’s Academy of Defence Science.
And issuing a chilling warning, Kim said the test “serves as an event of very weighty significance in increasing the combat power of the People’s Army,” state media reported.
North Korea warned the US it faces “undesired consequences” if it doesn’t meet its demands in nuclear talks by the end of the year.
Kim’s regime is demanding the Trump administration show more flexibility – or else it will go back on its promise to scrap its deadly nuclear arsenal.
Pyongyang says it will only ditch its weapons programme if the US agrees to scrap crippling economic sanctions on the country.
In a chilling threat, North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said: “Changing paths is not a privilege that only the United States has – but it could be our own choice if we make up our mind.”
She added: “If the United States fails to reestablish its position within the timeline we gave, it will see truly undesired consequences.”
On April 21, 2018, Kim Jong-un said the reclusive nation was suspending long-range nuclear missile tests and shutting its test sites.
At the Singapore summit on June 11, 2018, Trump and Kim agreed to start the denuclearisation “very quickly”.
The US President said the meeting had gone “better than anyone could have expected”.
“We are going to sign this historic agreement,” said Kim. “The world will see a major change.”
In the agreement, Kim committed to “complete denuclearisation of Korean Peninsula”.
However, despite the pledge, the rogue state has not stopped its nuclear activities, the UN’s nuclear watchdog said.
And the Pentagon, the US military headquarters, believes the hermit kingdom has around 200 missile launchers across the country, which can be used to fire short and medium-range rockets.
The most likely target of such a missile launch would be South Korea, Japan, Australia and possibly US territories in the Pacific Ocean.
Revised estimates suggest the total number of missiles the rogue state has is believed to be between 13 and 21. And the regime is estimated to have at least four nuclear warheads.