Only hours after the newly elected South Korean president announced his decision to halt the further deployment of THAAD anti-missile defense platforms in his country, North Korea conducted yet another ballistic missile test.  This latest test saw four ballistic anti-ship missiles launched from North Korea’s East Coast.  They traveled approximately 124 miles before crashing into the Sea of Japan.

“North Korea fired multiple unidentified projectiles, assumed to be surface-to-ship missiles, this morning from the vicinity of Wonsan, Kangwon Province,” the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said, according to the Yonhap News Agency.

North Korea’s decision to fire ground-based anti-ship missiles into the Sea of Japan (also known as the East Sea) should likely be considered a message intended directly for the United States Navy, who currently has two carrier strike groups in the waterways surrounding the Korean peninsula.

“We assess that North Korea intended to show off its various missile capabilities, display its precise targeting capability, in the form of armed protests against ships in regard to US Navy carrier strike groups and joint naval drills,” Roh Jae-cheon, a spokesman for South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staffs told reporters.