North Korea launches a missile into the sea amid US-S Korea exercises – KGET 17

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea launched a short-range ballistic missile toward the sea on Sunday, its neighbors said, stepping up testing activities in response to U.S.-South Korean military exercises it sees as a rehearsal for an invasion.

A missile launched from North Korea’s northwestern region flew across the country before landing in waters off its east coast, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

The South Korean military is said to have stepped up its surveillance and is maintaining readiness in close coordination with the United States.

Japan’s defense ministry said a missile suspected to be North Korean was launched on Sunday morning. The suspected weapon was said to have fallen outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone. There are currently no reports of damage in the area.

The launch was the third round of North Korean weapons tests since the US and South Korean militaries began joint military exercises last Monday.

The latest US-South Korean drills, which include computer simulations and field exercises, continue through Thursday. The field exercises are the largest of their kind since 2018.

The North views such US-South Korean military drills as practice for launching an invasion, although Washington and Seoul have consistently said their training is defensive in nature.

Weapons North Korea has recently tested include its Hwasong-17 long-range intercontinental ballistic missile designed to hit the US mainland. The North’s state media quoted leader Kim Jong Un as saying the ICBM launch was meant to “instill fear in the enemies”.

A day before the drills began, North Korea also fired cruise missiles from a submarine. The North’s state media said the submarine-launched missile was a demonstration of its determination to respond with “unbelievably powerful” force to intensifying military maneuvers by “US imperialists and South Korean puppet forces”.


Associated Press writer Yuri Kageyama in Tokyo contributed to this report.

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