North Korea has launched a ballistic missile ahead of scheduled military exercises by South Korean and US forces and an upcoming visit by US Vice-President Kamala Harris.
South Korea’s military confirmed a single, short-range ballistic missile was fired from near the Taechon area of North Pyongyan Province towards the sea shortly before 7am on Sunday.
“North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile is an act of grave provocation that threatens the peace and security of the Korean peninsula and international community,” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said, according to Reuters.
After the launch, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Kim Seung-kyum and the U.S. Forces Korea Commander Paul LaCamera evaluated the event and confirmed that they remain in a position to respond should North Korea attempt to provoke or threaten them.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-Yeol, who arrived back in Seoul on Saturday after a visit to the UK, the United States and Canada, was notified about the missile, his office confirmed.
Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada estimated that the missile would have ascended to a maximum altitude of 50 kilometers and it may have flown on an irregular trajectory.
Hamada confirmed that the missile fell outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone and no problematic reports were made regarding air traffic.
“If you include launches of cruise missiles this is the nineteenth launch, which is an unprecedented pace,” he said. “North Korea’s action represent a threat to the peace and security of our country, the region and the international community and to do this as the Ukraine invasion unfolds is unforgivable.”
North Korea have consistently rejected UN resolutions as a breach of its sovereign right to self-defense and space exploration. North Korea has also pointed to joint drills by the US and South Korea as justification for their own missile tests.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: YAHOO NEWS
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