North Korea launches ballistic missile in the Sea of Japan

Seoul, Mar 19 (EFE).- North Korea on Sunday launched a short-range ballistic missile in the Sea of Japan – called the East Sea in the two Koreas – the South Korean military and Japanese authorities said.

South Korea’s military Joint Chief’s of Staff detected the fresh test by Pyongyang on Sunday morning, days after the North launched a new kind of inter-continental ballistic missile. The North Korean regime subsequently boasted that the latest ICBM had the longest reach among its missiles.

Japanese defense ministry also detected Sunday’s launch and said that the missile fell outside its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) around 11.20 am.

The South Korean military is analyzing the missile’s flight distance, altitude and speed, local news agency Yonhap reported.

The latest missile tests are being seen as Pyongyang’s response to the ongoing joint military exercises in the south of the peninsula by South Korea and the United States, which have repeatedly been dubbed as a “rehearsal for invasion” by the North.

The North Korean regime had previously warned of an “unprecedented response” to the drills.

The ICBM launched on Thursday traveled about 1,000 kilometers at a maximum altitude of over 6,000 km before falling outside Japan’s EEZ some 250 kilometers west of Oshima island, off Hokkaido, into the Sea of Japan. Pyongyang said this was a Hwasong-17 missile.

The weapon was test-launched barely hours before South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol visited Tokyo to meet Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida for the first bilateral visit between the two sides in 12 years, during which the two leaders pledged to strengthen security cooperation – along with the US – with an eye on Pyongyang. EFE


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