N Korea launches ballistic missile days after firing Hwasong-17
- Amid North Korea’s record testing, South Korea-U.S. stepped up joint exercises.
- North Korea views all such drills as an invasion exercise.
- Last year the North declared itself an “irreversible” nuclear power.
Seoul: North Korea opened fire. A ballistic missile on Sunday, Yonhap The latest launch is scheduled to take place during major military exercises between South Korea and the United States, the news agency reported.
“North Korea fires. Ballistic missiles towards the eastern sea” Yonhap Referring to 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 heightened nuclear threats by Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington have stepped up security cooperation, and on March 13 began their largest joint military exercises in five years.
Known as Freedom Shield, these exercises last for 10 days.
North Korea views all such drills as an attack exercise and has repeatedly warned that it will take “colossal” action in response.
Sunday’s launch also comes days after Pyongyang test-fired its largest and most powerful missile, the Hwasong-17 – the second intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) of the year.
The North’s state media described the ICBM launch as a response to ongoing, “southern” US-South Korean exercises.
Hours after the ICBM 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 a “rapid” increase in the production of weapons, including tactical nukes.