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North Korea fires ballistic missile off its east coast, South Korea“s military says

2023-03-27T01:05:09Z

A North Korea flag flutters next to concertina wire at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia March 9, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast on Monday morning, South Korea’s military said, the latest in a series of launches amid military drills by the U.S. and South Korea.

The missiles were fired from North Hwanghae province at 7:47 a.m. (2247 GMT on Sunday) and flew about 370 kilometres (230 miles), South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.

Both missiles appear to have landed outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone, according to Japanese media.

South Korea’s military “strongly condemned” the launches as a grave provocation violating United Nations Security Council resolutions, and called for an immediate halt.

“We will keep a close eye on North Korea’s various activities and maintain firm readiness posture based on the capability to overwhelmingly respond to any provocations,” the JCS said in a statement, adding that it would continue military drills with the United States as planned.

The Japanese government also lodged a “strong protest” with North Korea, saying its missile launches threaten the safety and peace of Japan, the region and the international community.

The launch is the latest in a series of weapons tests by the North, including the firing of multiple cruise missiles on Wednesday that Pyongyang said was aimed at practicing tactical nuclear attacks.

On Friday, North Korea said it had tested a new nuclear-capable underwater attack drone, as leader Kim Jong Un warned that joint military drills by South Korea and the U.S. should stop.

The allies concluded their regular springtime exercises, called Freedom Shield 23, last week, but have other field training continuing, including amphibious landing drills involving a U.S. amphibious assault ship.

Pyongyang has long bristled at the allies’ drills, saying they are preparation for an invasion of the North.

South Korea and the United States say the exercises are defensive.


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