North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile toward the sea off the eastern coast of the Korean peninsula on Sunday, according to South Korea and Japan, in the latest series of weapons tests from the nuclear-armed country.
The missile was launched from the Dongchang-ri site on the west coast around 11:05 a.m. and flew about 500 miles before hitting a target, according to a South Korean military statement.
The Japanese Ministry of Defense said the missile flew at an altitude of up to 30 miles.
Seoul has condemned the recent ballistic missile launches by North Korea, calling them a “clear violation” of a United Nations Security Council resolution.
Shortly after the launch, South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense said the United States deployed a B-1B strategic bomber in joint air exercises, which Seoul and Washington say they are conducting to enhance extended deterrence.
The launches also drew criticism from Tokyo and Washington.
“North Korea’s behavior threatens international peace and security, which is unacceptable,” Japan’s Minister of State for Defense, Toshiro Inoue, said at a press conference, adding that Japan strongly protested through the North Korean embassy in Beijing.
The US Indo-Pacific Command said Sunday’s launch did not pose an immediate threat to US personnel or allies. But the recent missile launches highlight the destabilizing effect of Pyongyang’s illegal weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs, it said in a statement.
On Thursday, North Korea launched a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).Intercontinental ballistic missiles) in the sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, hours before the South Korean president headed to Tokyo for a summit that discussed ways to confront North Korea.
Pyongyang said Thursday’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile was a warning about military exercises between the United States and South Korea, the official KCNA news agency reported.
South Korean and US forces started on the 11th drillsdubbed “Freedom Shield 23,” a week ago on a scale not seen since 2017.
North Korea also criticized the United States and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, KCNA reported later in the day for bringing up its human rights abuses at an informal meeting of the UN Security Council, calling the move a “serious challenge” to its sovereignty.
“The United States launched a ‘human rights’ campaign against the DPRK in the United Nations square while conducting aggressive joint military exercises that pose a serious threat to our national security,” state media quoted North Korea’s permanent mission to the United Nations as saying.
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