South Korea’s military says it detected the launch of a short-range ballistic missile on Sunday morning
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) launched a short-range ballistic missile on Sunday morning, the South Korean military reports. This is the fourth test in just one week. Pyongyang says these shows of force are justified because of the joint military exercises organized by Washington and Seoul on the peninsula.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the rocket was fired from the west coast of the DPRK at 11:05 a.m. local time and traveled 800 km (500 miles) before hitting a target in the East Sea (known elsewhere as the Sea of Japan), as quoted by the media.
In a statement, South Korean military officials noted that the country’s armed forces are “maintain a full readiness position in close cooperation with the United States” in anticipation of “additional launches.”
The Japanese Coast Guard also confirmed the latest North Korean missile launch.
The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command described this launch and previous launches as “destabilizing,“adding, however, that the missile did”not pose an immediate threat to U.S. personnel or territory, or to our allies.“US military officials reaffirmed Washington’s will”clad in iron”commitment to defending South Korea and Japan
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported that a US nuclear-capable B-1B strategic bomber has returned”for joint exercises on Sunday, just 16 days after its previous deployment.”
On Thursday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un observed the launch of a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) – which he said was intended to “to sow fear in enemies” And “deter war,” as quoted by the Korean Central News Agency.
The test follows several others that have been conducted in recent days.
Pyongyang says the recent increase in missile launches is a response to ongoing military exercises between the United States and South Korea, called “Freedom Shield”. The North has repeatedly said it views the drills as preparation for military aggression.
South Korea and the United States have described the exercise, which began Monday and is expected to end Thursday, as the largest of its kind since 2017. The two allies insist that DPRK actions, including the record number of missile launches in 2022, carry out the necessary exercises.