S. Korean army says N. Korea fired ‘ballistic missile’

i24NEWS - AFP

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The North Korean flag is seen in the country's embassy compounds in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on March 19, 2021.
Sazali Ahmad / AFPThe North Korean flag is seen in the country's embassy compounds in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on March 19, 2021.

News of the suspected weapons test arrives after days of inflammatory rhetoric from the hermit kingdom

North Korea fired an "unidentified projectile," South Korea's military said Wednesday.

"North Korea fired an unidentified projectile eastward," the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

Later in the day, the military clarified that the projectile was identified as a ballistic missile.

"One ballistic missile fired by North Korea today at 1203 (0303 GMT) from around Sunan towards the East Sea (Sea of Japan) was detected," the Joint Chiefs of Staff announced in a statement.

The launch is the latest in a series of military provocations the nuclear-armed state carried out this year, including firing a powerful intercontinental missile that can reach the continental United States. 

Despite biting sanctions, North Korea doubled down on its military modernization drive, test-firing a slew of banned weapons.

News of the weapons test also arrives after days of inflammatory rhetoric from the hermit kingdom and calls to bolster its military might.

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Back in April, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was quoted as saying that Pyongyang should be able to “preemptively and thoroughly contain and frustrate all dangerous attempts and threatening moves... if necessary, according to North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Earlier that week, during a military parade, he also pledged to accelerate North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, announcing that the state “will continue to take steps to strengthen and develop our nation's nuclear capabilities at the fastest pace,” KCNA reported.

The latest firing also came just days before the South's incoming president Yoon Suk-yeol, who has vowed a tougher stance on the North, takes office next week.

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