North Korea fires ballistic missile: Seoul

SEOUL      -     North Ko­rea fired at least one unidenti­fied ballistic missile Monday, South Korea’s military said, the latest in its flurry of weapons tests in recent weeks. “North Korea fires an unidentified ballistic missile towards the East Sea,” Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said, referring to the body of water also known as the Sea of Japan. Japan’s de­fence ministry also said “a suspected ballistic missile has been fired”, with its coast guard saying the weapon was believed to have already fallen. The launch comes as Seoul and Washington are carrying out a joint amphibious landing exer­cise, just days after wrapping up their largest combined mili­tary drills in five years Thurs­day. Pyongyang views all such exercises as rehearsals for inva­sion and on Friday claimed the recent drills, dubbed Freedom Shield, were practice for “occu­pying” North Korea. Pyongyang carried out military drills of its own in response, including test-firing a new nuclear-capa­ble underwater drone and con­ducting its second interconti­nental ballistic missile launch this year. Analysts previously said North Korea would likely use the drills as an excuse to carry out more missile launch­es and perhaps even a nuclear test North Korea’s state media said Friday the “underwater nuclear attack drone” drill, which was personally overseen by leader Kim Jong Un, was staged “to alert the enemy to an actual nuclear crisis”. The weapon’s mission is to “stealth­ily infiltrate into operational waters and make a super-scale radioactive.

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