South Korea claims that North Korea fired a ballistic missile

Image Source - Anadolu Agency
North Korea fires a ballistic missile, says South Korea | Image Source – Anadolu Agency

North Korea fires an unidentified ballistic missile into (the) East Sea,” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said, referring to the body of water known as the Sea of Japan.

The firing comes as South Korea and the US prepare for yearly military drills as part of attempts to counter the North’s rising nuclear and missile threats. North Korea had promised a “unprecedentedly persistent, forceful” reaction on Friday.

Pyongyang may have created a military unit tasked with operating new intercontinental ballistic missiles, in line with its recent restructuring of the military, state media video footage from a Feb. 9 parade suggested.

Following a year in which North Korea declared itself an “irreversible” nuclear power and conducted nearly monthly weapons tests in violation of international restrictions, military tensions on the Korean peninsula have increased.

In response, Seoul has increased joint military exercises with Washington, a crucial security ally, in an effort to reassure the increasingly uneasy South Korean public of America’s commitment to prevent Pyongyang.

The launch on Saturday, Pyongyang’s first since January 1, occurred only days before Seoul and Washington were scheduled to begin a new tabletop exercise in Washington, during which the two allies would discuss how they would react if Pyongyang used nuclear weapons.

In case of a nuclear assault by Pyongyang, the drill the next week will concentrate on “joint planning, joint management, and combined response with Washington’s nuclear assets,” a South Korean defense ministry official told AFP on Friday.

On Friday, Pyongyang warned that it would respond “unprecedentedly” strongly to impending US-South Korea drills, calling them “war preparations.”

According to a Friday statement from the North Korean foreign ministry, if Washington and Seoul move on with the drills, “they will face unprecedentedly persistent and severe counteractions”.

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(The IBC NewsTV team may have changed just the report’s headline and cover image; the remaining text was created automatically from a syndicated feed.)


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