North Korea launches missile at sea amid US-South Korea drills
North Korea has launched a suspected missile towards the sea, neighbors say, as the North steps up testing activities in response to US-South Korean military drills it sees as a rehearsal for an invasion
Seoul, South Korea — North Korea launched a suspected missile towards the sea on Sunday, its neighbors said, as the North ramps up testing activities in response to U.S.-South Korean military drills it sees as a rehearsal for an invasion.
Japan’s Defense Ministry and Coast Guard said what appeared to be a North Korean missile was fired on Sunday morning. They gave no further details.
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency quoted the South Korean military as saying North Korea had fired a ballistic missile towards its eastern waters.
Appeals to the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the South were not immediately answered on Sunday.
The launch, if confirmed, would be the North’s third round of weapons tests since the US and South Korean militaries began joint military exercises last week.
The North sees the exercises as practice for launching an invasion, although the United States and South Korea have firmly stated that their training is defensive in nature. The latest U.S.-South Korean exercises, which include computer simulations and field exercises, are due to continue until Thursday.
North Korean weapons recently tested include its longer-range Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile designed to strike the American mainland. Northern state media quoted leader Kim Jong Un as saying the ICBM launch was intended to “sow fear in enemies”.
This version corrects that the launch, if confirmed, would be the third round of weapons testing since the start of joint exercises between the United States and South Korea last week (not the fourth) .