North Korea fires 3 ballistic missiles after a year of unprecedented tests


SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea fired three ballistic missiles into the sea off the eastern Korean peninsula on Saturday, the South Korean military said.

The launches were the latest in an unprecedented number of missile tests by North Korea this year as Pyongyang continues weapons development amid speculation it could test a nuclear weapon for the seventh time.

The three short-range ballistic missiles were fired at around 8 am local time (2300 GMT) from North Hwanghae province, just south of the capital Pyongyang, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

Japan’s coast guard said North Korea fired what could be a ballistic missile and sent out an advisory about a possible second missile. NHK reported that a second North Korean missile appeared to have landed outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

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North Korea fired the missile the day after the South Korean Defense Ministry announced it had successfully conducted a test flight of a solid-propellant space launch vehicle.

On Monday, five North Korean drones crossed into South Korea, prompting the South Korean military to dispatch fighter jets and attack helicopters to try to shoot them down, in the first such intrusion since 2017.

Relations between North Korea and US ally South Korea have grown even more tense since South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol’s conservative government took power in May, pledging a tougher stance toward the country. North.

Not counting the launches on Saturday, North Korea has fired about 70 ballistic missiles this year, the Yonhap news agency said, including about eight intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

North Korean state media KCNA had yet to mention the dismissal, but said on Saturday that leader Kim Jong Un had chaired a party meeting on Friday to decide on policy and strategy for 2023.

(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Chris Reese, Grant McCool and Kim Coghill)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.


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