North Korea fires ballistic missile: Yonhap

Agence France-Presse
North Korea fires ballistic missile: Yonhap
FILE PHOTO: People watch a television news screen showing a picture of North Korea's recent test-firing of a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), at a railway station in Seoul on March 17, 2023. North Korea said the projectile it test-fired on March 16 was an intercontinental ballistic missile known as Hwasong-17, the state news agency KCNA reported.
AFP / Jung Yeon-je

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea fired a ballistic missile on Sunday, Yonhap news agency reported, the latest launch to come as South Korea and the United States stage major military drills.

"North Korea fires ballistic missile towards the East Sea," Yonhap reported, citing Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff and referring to the body of water also known as the Sea of Japan.

After a record-breaking year of weapons tests and growing nuclear threats from Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington have ramped up security cooperation, and on March 13 kicked off their largest joint military drills in five years.

Known as Freedom Shield, the drills run for 10 days.

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

Sunday's launch also comes just days after Pyongyang test-fired its largest and most powerful missile, a Hwasong-17 — its second ICBM test this year.

The North's state media described the ICBM launch as a response to the ongoing, "frantic" US-South Korea drills.

Just hours after the ICMB was fired Thursday, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol arrived in Japan to thaw long-frozen ties and boost cooperation in the face of an increasingly aggressive Pyongyang.

Last year, North Korea declared itself an "irreversible" nuclear power, and leader Kim Jong Un recently called for an "exponential" increase in weapons production, including tactical nukes. 




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