Flashpoints | Security | East Asia

North Korea Launches 1 Ballistic Missile

Four days after it launched four SRBMs, North Korea again fired a missile into the sea to its east.

North Korea Launches 1 Ballistic Missile
Credit: Depositphotos

North Korea launched one short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) toward the waters off its east coast, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said on Wednesday.

The missile was launched from the Sukchon area of South Pyongan province around 3:31 p.m. and flew about 290 km with an altitude of 30 km. Given the performance of the missile, the North likely test-fired a new version of its KN-series ballistic missile.

The South’s JCS again called the missile launch “a clear violation of the U.N. Security Council resolutions” and urged North Korea to immediately halt missile tests. It also vowed to keep a firm military readiness posture in coordination with the United States to cope with future provocations by Pyongyang.

Wednesday’s missile launch came four days after North Korea launched four SRBMs toward its west coast.

North Korea launched at least 35 missiles and hundreds of artillery shells last week. According to a report from the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) published in Korea Central News Agency (KCNA), the North’s main state-controlled media, the series of missile launches was North Korea’s “corresponding military operations” against Vigilant Storm, the largest-ever joint military air drill between South Korea and the United States.

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North Korea has published numerous statements criticizing the South Korea-U.S. military exercise and justifying its missile launches. However, South Korea and the United States are not considering scaling back the drills, as the North has not responded to their overtures to renew the deadlocked nuclear talks.

South Korea is conducting its annual Taeguk exercise, a four-day command post exercise, this week. Even though this exercise is purely defensive and computer-simulated, the North showed how it perceived this drill with today’s missile launch.