North Korea launched a short-range ballistic missile toward the sea on Sunday, its neighbours said, ramping up testing activities in response to US-South Korean military drills that it views as an invasion rehearsal.
The missile launched from the North’s northwestern region flew across the country before it landed in the waters off its east coast, South Korea‘s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.
It said South Korea’s military has boosted its surveillance posture and maintains a readiness in close coordination with the United States.
Japan‘s Defence Ministry and coast guard said what appeared to be a North Korean missile was fired Sunday morning.
It said the suspected weapon landed outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone. There were no immediate reports of damage in the area.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches what it says is an intercontinental ballistic missile the country test-launched at the Sunan international airport in Pyongyang earlier this week
People watch a television showing a news broadcast with file footage of a North Korean missile test, at a railway station in Seoul on Sunday morning
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency cited the South’s military as saying that North Korea had fired a ballistic missile toward its eastern waters.
The launch, if confirmed, would be North Korea’s third round of weapons tests since the US and South Korean militaries began their joint military drills last week.
North Korea views the drills as a practice to launch an invasion, though the United States and South Korea have steadfastly said their training is defensive in nature.
The latest US-South Korean drills, which include computer simulations and field exercises, are to continue until Thursday.
People watch the news at a station in Seoul, South Korea according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), North launched a ballistic missile into the east sea amid US-South Korean joint military drills
A woman walks past a television showing a news broadcast with file footage of a North Korean missile test
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party at its headquarters in Pyongyang, North Korea
The North Korean weapons recently tested included its longest-range Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile designed to strike the US mainland.
North Korea’s state media quoted leader Kim Jong Un as saying the ICBM launch was meant to ‘strike fear into the enemies’.
A day before the start of the drills, North Korea also fired cruise missiles from a submarine.
The North’s state media said the submarine-launched missile was a demonstration of its resolve to respond with ‘overwhelming powerful’ force to the intensifying military maneuvers by ‘the U.S. imperialists and the South Korean puppet forces.’
This picture released by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency shows the launch of a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) at Pyongyang International Airport
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, is pictured witnessing the launch of a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) from Pyongyang International Airport on Wednesday