Pyongyang launches missile into the sea between US and Seoul exercises

Pyongyang launches missile into the sea between US and Seoul exercises

FILE – In this photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a meeting of the Workers’ Party at its headquarters in Pyongyang, North Korea, February 26, 2023. There was no access for independent journalists to the event shown in the image. The image is transmitted as received and cannot be independently verified. The Korean watermark is from the Korean Central News Agency. (Korea Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea launched a short-range ballistic missile into the sea on Sunday, its neighbors said, amid a surge in its weapons tests in response to military drills between the United States and South Korea. South considering an invasion trial.

The missile launched from North Korea’s northwestern region and flew over the country before landing in waters to the east, according to a statement from the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The South Korean military stepped up its surveillance and was standing by in close coordination with the United States, the statement added.

The Japanese Ministry of Defense reported a possible North Korean missile launch on Sunday morning. He noted that the alleged weapon had fallen outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone. There were no immediate reports of damage in the area.

This is the third North Korean weapons test since the US and South Korean armies began their joint military exercises on Monday.

The exercises, which include computer simulations and field exercises, are scheduled to last until Thursday. These are the largest field exercises of their kind since 2018.

Pyongyang views these moves by Washington and Seoul as invasion training, though the United States and South Korea reiterate that they are defensive in nature.

One of the weapons North Korea has recently tested is a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile, its longest-range projectile designed to reach the US mainland. The launch of the MBIC was intended to “sow fear in the enemies,” according to statements by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, quoted by the country’s state media.

The day before they discussed the drills, North Korea also launched cruise missiles from a submarine. That test was a demonstration of North Korea’s determination to respond with “overwhelmingly powerful” force to escalating military maneuvers by “US imperialists and South Korean puppet forces,” according to North Korean state media.


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

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