SOUTH KOREA, SEOUL: On Sunday, according to its neighbors, North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile out toward the sea, ramping up its testing activities in response to US-South Korean military drills that it sees as an invasion rehearsal.
According to the Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea, the missile was fired from the northwestern part of North Korea and traveled across the country before splashing down in the waters off the east coast.
It was stated that in close coordination with the United States, the South Korean military has increased its surveillance posture and remains ready at all times.
The Defense Ministry of Japan reported that a missile, likely fired from North Korea, was fired early on Sunday. The document claimed the alleged weapon didn’t end up in Japanese territory. Damage reports from the area were not immediately available.
Since the United States and South Korea began their joint military drills on Monday, this launch was the North’s third round of weapons tests.
The United States and South Korea are currently in the midst of military drills that will last until Thursday and feature both virtual and real-world scenarios. In terms of scale, these field exercises are the largest of their kind since 2018.
Both Washington and Seoul have been consistent in their assertion that military exercises between the United States and South Korea are defensive in nature, but Pyongyang sees them as preparation for an invasion.
The Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile is North Korea’s longest-range intercontinental ballistic missile and was designed to strike the United States mainland. North Korean state media reported that Kim Jong Un, the country’s leader, said the ICBM launch was conducted to “strike fear into the enemies.”
North Korea also tested submarine-launched cruise missiles the day before the drills began. North Korean state media claimed the submarine-launched missile showed the country was serious about responding to growing military activity from “the US imperialists and the South Korean puppet forces” with “overwhelming powerful” force.