SEOUL, March 19 (AP) – North Korea launched a short-range ballistic missile into the sea on Sunday, and its neighbors said they were stepping up testing activities in response to U.S.-South Korea military exercises, which North Korea views as an invasion exercise.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the missile fired from North Korea’s northwestern region flew over the country before falling into the sea off its east coast.
Read also | USA: 4,00,000 gallons of tritium-tainted radioactive water leaked from Xcel Energy’s nuclear power plant in Minnesota.
It said the South Korean military has stepped up its surveillance posture and maintained a state of combat readiness in close coordination with the United States.
Japan’s Defense Ministry said a suspected North Korean missile was launched Sunday morning. It said the suspected weapons landed outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone. There were no immediate reports of damage in the area.
Read also | North Korea fires ballistic missile into sea during U.S.-South Korea military drills.
The launch was North Korea’s third weapons test since U.S. and South Korean militaries began joint military exercises last Monday.
The latest U.S.-South Korea drills, which include computer simulations and live drills, will run through Thursday. The field exercise was the largest since 2018.
North Korea sees such U.S.-South Korea military drills as a way to launch an invasion, though Washington and Seoul have insisted their training is defensive in nature.
North Korea’s most recent weapons tests include the longest-range Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile, designed to strike the continental United States.
North Korean state media quoted leader Kim Jong Un as saying the ICBM was launched to “scare the enemy”.
North Korea also fired a cruise missile from a submarine a day before the drills began.
North Korea’s state media said the submarine-launched missile showed its determination to respond with “overwhelming force” to the intensified military drills of “U.S. imperialism and South Korean puppet forces”. (Associated Press)
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)