North Korea launched a ballistic missile, the South Korean military said
Seoul, South Korea
North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile into waters off its east coast on Wednesday, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
The missile was launched at 15:31 local time from Sukchon District in South Pyongan Province, the JCS said. It also added that the South Korean military has strengthened its surveillance and is cooperating closely with the United States.
Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said the missile flew about 250 km (about 155 miles) “at a very low altitude of about 50 kilometers (about 31 miles) or less” and landed in the East Sea, also known as as the Sea of Japan. .
He added that authorities were still investigating other details, such as the trajectory of the missile, and condemned the launch as a threat to “the peace and security of our country, the region and the international community.”
This year is the 32nd day that North Korea has conducted a missile test, according to CNN. The list includes both ballistic and cruise missiles.
In contrast, it conducted just four tests in 2020 and eight in 2021.
Wednesday’s launch comes amid US midterm elections, with votes still being counted as Democrats and Republicans battle for control of Congress.
South Korea’s military also said Wednesday that the missile it fired last week was a Soviet-era SA-5 surface-to-air missile, not a short-range ballistic missile as it claimed at the time.
On November 2, South Korea announced that Pyongyang had fired 23 missiles east and west of the Korean peninsula, including the now-identified SA-5, which landed near South Korean territorial waters for the first time. Korea.
The JCS said the missile landed in international waters 167 kilometers northwest of South Korea’s Uleung Island, about 26 kilometers south of the North’s demarcation line, the de facto inter-Korean maritime border that North Korea does not recognize.
Wreckage from the missile was recovered from the sea and displayed to the press at the Defense Ministry in Seoul on Wednesday.
Tensions on the Korean peninsula have been rising steadily this year as South Korea and the United States responded to Pyongyang’s missile tests by stepping up joint exercises and military exercises as well as their own missile tests.
South Korea is also currently conducting its own exercises as part of the annual exercises, which emphasize defensive operations, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It is planned that the exercises will continue until Thursday.
On Monday, North Korean state media released images purported to show last week’s missile launch, warning that “reckless military hysteria” by the US and its allies was pushing the peninsula into a “volatile confrontation”.
Pyongyang’s missile and air force exercises demonstrate its “will to counter the adversary’s joint air exercises,” the report said.
US and international observers have warned for months that North Korea appears to be preparing for an underground nuclear test, with satellite images showing activity at the nuclear test site. Such a test would be the hermit nation’s first in nearly five years.
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