The U.S. government said Tuesday it is considering taking "appropriate" measures in response to North Korea's firing of two medium-range ballistic missiles.
In an unusually lengthy and strongly worded statement, the State Department stressed that launches by the communist nation using ballistic missile technology are a clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.
It said U.S. government information has confirmed that North Korea launched two Rodong missiles into the East Sea, a body of water between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, on Tuesday (U.S. time).
Both missiles flew easterly from a launch site near North Korea's west coast over its land mass before dropping into the sea, said the U.S. government.
"Coming on the heels of the DPRK's March 3 and February 27 Scud launches, these March 26 launches of medium-range No Dong ballistic missiles represent a troubling and provocative escalation that the United States takes very seriously," the State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said.
Furthermore, it does not appear that North Korea issued any prior maritime notifications to warn of the launches, she added.
The U.S. is closely coordinating with its allies and partners, including those in the U.N. Security Council to "take the appropriate measures in response to this latest provocation and to address the threat to global security posed by the DPRK's nuclear and ballistic missile programs," Harf said.
The DPRK is the acronym for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. (Yonhap)