A man walks past a television screen showing a news broadcast with file footage of a North Korean missile test
What Are KN-25s? North Korea May Supply Russia With Powerful Missiles Photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images

Two short-range ballistic missiles were test fired by North Korea on Saturday, making it the fourth round this week in a series of weapon test launches, which quickly prompted strong condemnation from its rivals. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol rebuked North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs, saying the North’s “obsession” with its nuclear arsenal will further deepen the suffering of its people, and Pyongyang would expect an “overwhelming response” from South Korean and U.S. militaries, should such weapons be used.

According to AP News, Yoon made the comments on the recent ballistic test-fire by North Korea, saying the country refuses to abandon its obsession with nuclear weapons despite receiving numerous international objections over the past 30 years. During an Armed Forces Day ceremony at South Korea’s central military headquarters, Yoon said North Korea’s nuclear weapons development would worsen its already suffering people, remarking with a warning if the North uses its nuclear arsenal, the South Korea-U.S. military alliances would respond in-kind.

Yoon's comments are expected to increase animosity from Kim Jong Un, who in July, stated that the former's administration is being run by “confrontation maniacs” and “gangsters”. Kim also rebuffed Yoon’s offer of economical assistance in return for the denuclearization of North Korea.

North Korea’s test launches were seen as a response to joint military drills by the U.S. and its allies in Asia as the naval commands of South Korea and the U.S. conducted exercises off the coast of the Korean Peninsula from Monday through Thursday. The Japanese navy later joined the exercises for a trilateral drill showing off their capability to detect and track submarines. This is the first trilateral drill the three nations have conducted since 2017. These exercises were conducted when reports of a new submarine being built by North Korea, which supposedly has been in development for years to test its submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

The joint military drills have been conducted for decades until former President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in scaled back on the exercises to increase their diplomacy with North Korea’s leader.

South Korea-Japan-US trilateral anti-submarine exercise
In this handout image provided by the South Korean Defense Ministry, The submarine USS Annapolis (front), ​U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan (C) and South Korean and Japan warships seen during a combined trilateral anti-submarine exercise on September 30, 2022 in East sea South Korea. South Korea, U.S. and Japan held a trilateral anti-submarine exercise near the peninsula for the first time in five years as part of efforts to sharpen deterrence against North Korean military threats. Photo by South Korean Defense Ministry via Getty Images

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