North Korea launches ballistic missile toward its eastern waters, South Korea


North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile toward its eastern waters, South Korean officials said on Friday. 

The launch is the latest in a series of weapons tests by the isolated nation, which Seoul sees as intimidation and a prelude to a potential invasion attempt. 

It also came as South Korea wraps up joint military exercises with an unspecified number of U.S. troops ahead of large-scale joint drills with the U.S. that the north has condemned as a threat. 

Four days earlier, the north and south exchanged warning shots as they accused each other of breaching maritime borders. 

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In this June 29 photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a Politburo meeting of the ruling Workers' Party in Pyongyang, North Korea.

In this June 29 photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a Politburo meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party in Pyongyang, North Korea.
(AP/Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service)

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile was launched from North Korea’s Gangwon province, on its southern border.

North Korean media has not confirmed the missile test.

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“We are aware of the ballistic missile launches and are consulting closely with our allies and partners,” the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said in a Thursday night East Coast Time statement. “While we have assessed that this event does not pose an immediate threat to U.S. personnel or territory, or to our allies, the missile launches highlight the destabilizing impact of the DPRK’s unlawful WMD and ballistic missile programs.”

An Army Tactical Missile System or ATACMS, missile is fired during a joint military drill between U.S. and South Korea at an undisclosed location in South Korea, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022. 

An Army Tactical Missile System or ATACMS, missile is fired during a joint military drill between U.S. and South Korea at an undisclosed location in South Korea, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022. 
(South Korea Defense Ministry via AP)

It added the U.S.’ “commitments” to South Korea and Japan remain “ironclad.” 

North Korea is also expected to launch its first nuclear test since 2017 in the coming weeks. 

This photo provided by the North Korean government, shows what it says a test launch of a hypersonic missile in North Korea Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the North Korean government. The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified. Korean language watermark on image as provided by source reads:

This photo provided by the North Korean government, shows what it says a test launch of a hypersonic missile in North Korea Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the North Korean government. The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified. Korean language watermark on image as provided by source reads: “KCNA” which is the abbreviation for Korean Central News Agency. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

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The International Atomic Energy Agency said it has seen indications of test preparations, which it called “incredibly concerning.”

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report. 



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