North Korea launched a short-range ballistic missile Thursday toward its eastern waters, South Korea’s military said, hours after the North threatened to launch “fiercer” military responses to the US bolstering its security commitment to its allies South Korea and Japan.
According to international media, South Korea’s military detected the launch from the North’s eastern coastal Wonsan area at 10:48am local time, the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. It said South Korea has boosted its surveillance of North Korea while maintaining a military readiness and a close coordination with the United States.
It was North Korea’s first ballistic missile firing in eight days and the latest in its barrage of tests in recent months.
North Korea previously said some of the tests were simulations of nuclear attacks on South Korean and US targets. Many experts say North Korea would eventually want to enhance its nuclear capability to wrest bigger concessions from its rivals.
Earlier on Thursday, North Korean foreign minister Choe Son Hue warned that a recent US-South Korea-Japan accord would leave tensions on the Korean Peninsula “more unpredictable.”
Choe’s statement was North Korea’s first official response to president Joe Biden’s trilateral summit with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts in Cambodia on Sunday. In their joint statement, the three leaders strongly condemned North Korea’s recent missile tests and agreed to work together to strengthen deterrence.