Seoul, Sep 25 (EFE).- North Korea launched a short-range ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan on Sunday, the South Korean army announced, two days after a United States nuclear-powered aircraft carrier arrived in the South for joint drills.
The launch was detected at 6.53 am local time (21:53 GMT Saturday) and was carried out from Taechon county in the northwest of the country, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.
“While strengthening our monitoring and vigilance, our military is maintaining a full readiness posture in close cooperation with the United States,” the JCS said, according to the local Yonhap news agency.
According to Japan’s Ministry of Defense, which also detected the launch and is analyzing it, the missile fell in the waters of the Sea of Japan, outside its exclusive economic zone.
Sunday’s is Pyongyang’s first ballistic weapons launch since June, when it fired eight short-range missiles.
It comes two days after the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier and its strike group arrived in the South Korean port city of Busan to take part in joint exercises with South Korea for the first time in five years, in an apparent message of strength.
The military exercises will take place at the end of the month and are frequently criticized by the North, which considers this type of maneuver as a threat to its territorial integrity.
This latest launch also comes after several days of reports that Pyongyang is preparing to test a new submarine capable of launching ballistic missiles.
North Korea has conducted a record number of missile tests this year after approving a weapons modernization plan in 2021 and has also toughened its nuclear posture.
In its last launch in August, the regime fired two cruise missiles into the Yellow Sea, but its use of such missiles is not punishable by UN sanctions, which correspond to ballistic missiles and their nuclear tests. EFE