North Korea launches a ballistic missile, according to the South Korean military

Seoul, South Korea

North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile into waters off its east coast on Wednesday, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

The missile was fired at 15:31 local time from the Sukchon area in South Pyongan province, according to the JCS. He added that the South Korean military has strengthened its surveillance and is cooperating closely with the United States.

Japan’s Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said the missile flew about 250 kilometers (about 155 miles) “at a very low altitude of about 50 kilometers (about 31 miles) or less” and landed in the Sea of the East, also known as the Sea of ​​Japan.

He added that authorities were still examining further details such as the missile’s orbit and condemned the launch as threatening “the peace and security of our country, the region and the international community”.

This year marks the 32nd day that North Korea has conducted a missile test, according to a CNN count. The count includes both ballistic and cruise missiles.

Instead, he only played four tests in 2020 and eight in 2021.

Wednesday’s release comes during the midterm elections in the United States, with votes still being counted as Democrats and Republicans battle for control of Congress.

Also on Wednesday, South Korea’s military said a missile fired last week was a Soviet-era SA-5 surface-to-air missile, not a short-range ballistic missile, as it had claimed at the time.

The remains of a North Korean missile, salvaged from the sea, which was identified as a Soviet-era SA-5 surface-to-air missile, on November 9.

On November 2, South Korea said Pyongyang had fired up to 23 missiles east and west of the Korean peninsula, including the now-identified SA-5, which landed near the territorial waters of South Korea for the first time since the division of South Korea. korea

The JCS said the missile landed in international waters 167 kilometers (104 miles) northwest of South Korea’s Ulleung Island, about 26 kilometers south of the Northern Limit Line, the maritime border de facto inter-Korean, which North Korea does not recognize.

Debris from the missile was recovered from the sea and shown to the press at the Ministry of Defense in Seoul on Wednesday.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have risen steadily this year, with South Korea and the US responding to Pyongyang’s missile tests by stepping up joint drills and military exercises, as well as their own missile tests.

South Korea is also conducting its own autonomous exercises in an annual exercise that emphasizes defense operations, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The drills are expected to continue until Thursday.

On Monday, North Korea’s state media released footage purporting to show last week’s missile launches with a warning that what it called “reckless military hysteria” by the US and its allies was moving the peninsula towards to an “unstable confrontation”.

Pyongyang’s missile and air force exercises demonstrate its “willingness to counter the enemy’s combined air drill,” the report said.

US and international observers have been warning for months that North Korea appears to be preparing for an underground nuclear test, with satellite images showing activity at the nuclear test site. This test would be the hermit nation’s first in almost five years.

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