North Korea fires submarine missiles forward of largest US-South Korea navy drills in years

North Korea fires submarine missiles ahead of largest US-South Korea military drills in years

Seoul, South Korea

North Korea launched two missiles from a submarine in waters off its east coast over the weekend, according to state media, and vowed to take “the toughest counteraction” against the largest joint military drills by the United States and South Korea in years that kick off Monday.

Pyongyang’s official KCNA news agency said the “strategic cruise missiles” were launched on Sunday morning from a “8.24 Yongung” submarine in the Sea of Japan, also known in Korea as the East Sea. The same vessel was used to test North Korea’s first submarine-launched ballistic missile in 2016, CNN previously reported.

The launches Sunday came some 24 hours before Washington and Seoul initiated their springtime joint military exercise on Monday, the biggest war games the two allies have put on in five years.

The 11-day Freedom Shield exercise “will…