North Korea launched ballistic missile off east coast, South Korea says

North Korea

The launch comes after Pyongyang warned of a strong response to upcoming US-South Korea military exercises


Saturday 18 February 2023 at 09:38 GMT

North Korea has launched a ballistic missile at the sea off its east coast, South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff have said, after Pyongyang warned of a strong response to upcoming US-South Korea military exercises.

The Japan Coast Guard also said North Korea fired a possible ballistic missile on Saturday.

On Friday, North Korea threatened an “unprecedentedly heavy-handed, strong” response to South Korea and the US preparing for annual military exercises to stave off Pyongyang’s growing nuclear and missile threats.

North Korea has launched an unprecedented number of missiles over the past year, including ICBMs, that could fall anywhere in the US as it resumes preparations for its first nuclear test since 2017.

Pyongyang may have created a military unit to operate new ICBMs in line with its recent military restructuring, state media video footage of a Feb. 9 parade suggests.

Nuclear drills between the US and South Korea, dubbed the Deterrence Strategy Committee tabletop exercise, are scheduled for Wednesday at the Pentagon and will involve senior defense officials from both sides, the Seoul Defense Ministry said.

The two countries are also planning a series of expanded field exercises, including live firefighting exercises, in the coming weeks and months.

About 28,500 US troops are stationed in South Korea, as a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in an armistice rather than a full peace treaty and technically still left the parties at war.


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