North Korea fires short-range ballistic missile after South Korea, US

North Korea fires short-range ballistic missile after South Korea, US

In the fourth such weapons test in a week, Seoul s military said, after South Korea and the United States conduct major military drills, North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile.

Our military detected a short-range ballistic missile fired from around the Tongchang-ri area of North Pyongan province at 11.05 am towards the East Sea, South Korea's joint chiefs of staff said on Sunday.

The military is in close cooperation with the United States, and we are maintaining a full readiness posture.

A possible ballistic missile was launched from North Korea, Japan s defence ministry said. Japan s Coast Guard warned of a ballistic missile launched from North Korea, but noting that it appeared to have fallen Seoul and Washington have ramped up defence cooperation in the face of growing military and nuclear threats from the North, which has conducted a series of increasingly provocative nuclear weapons tests in recent months.

South Korea and the US are currently in the middle of 11 day joint drills, known as Freedom Shield, their largest in five years.

North Korea views all such exercises as rehearsals for invasion and has warned it would take overwhelming action in response.

On Thursday, Pyongyang shot its largest and most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile, a Hwasong-17, its second ICBM test this year.

The North s state-owned Korean Central News Agency KCNA described the ICBM launch as a response to the ongoing US-South Korea drills.

Analysts previously said that North Korea would probably use the drills as an excuse to carry out more missile launches and maybe even a nuclear test.

On Saturday, KCNA said that the joint drills by the allies were close to the unpardonable red line. ICBM launched two short-range ballistic missiles on Tuesday after two strategic cruise missiles were launched from a submarine last Sunday.

The recent flurry of aggression by Pyongyang has pushed Seoul and Tokyo to fix fences over historical disputes and try to boost security cooperation.

South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol arrived in Japan on Thursday for the first full-scale leaders summit between the sides in 12 years, just hours after the ICBM was fired.

North Korea declared itself an irreversible nuclear power last year, and leader Kim Jong-un recently called for an exponential increase in weapons production, including tactical nuclear weapons.

Kim ordered the North Korean military to intensify drills in order to prepare for a real war.