North Korea fires ballistic missile in Sea of Japan

(Update 1: adds details provided by Seoul)

Seoul Feb 18 (EFE).- North Korea on Saturday fired an apparently long-range ballistic missile in the Sea of Japan – called the East Sea in the two Koreas – the South Korean military said in a statement.

The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff did not offer details about the launch immediately, the second carried out by Pyongyang in 2023.

However, later the JCS said that it believed the projectile to have been a long-range ballistic missile, which was fired from the North Korean capital’s Sunan area at 5.22 pm.

Meanwhile Japanese state broadcaster NHK cited government sources to report that the missile may have fallen in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

Sunan, which houses Pyongyang’s international airport, is the spot from where the regime has launched its intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-17 – the longest in its arsenal – more than once.

On Friday, North Korea had threatened an “unprecedented” response to the joint military exercises that Seoul and Washington are set to carry out in March.

The United States and South Korea are also scheduled to hold a joint computer simulation drill next week to prepare for a potential nuclear attack by Pyongyang.

In 2022, North Korea test-fired a record number of missiles – around 50 – often in response to joint military drills by the US and South Korea and after Pentagon deployed strategic assets in the peninsula.

Satellite photos have shown that the regime’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site has been fully refurbished for almost year and is ready for a fresh atomic test. EFE


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