North Korea Fires Off Another Short-Range Ballistic Missile; Fourth Time This Week: REPORT

The military of South Korea has confirmed that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) launched a short-range ballistic missile on Sunday morning. This test, according to Seoul, is the fourth of its kind to have place in the past week. According to Pyongyang, the combined military drills conducted on the peninsula by Washington and Seoul merit the displays of force.

According to reports in the media, the missile was launched at 11:05 a.m. local time from the DPRK's west coast and flew 800 kilometers (500 miles) before striking a target in the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan abroad.

Military authorities from South Korea said in a statement that the nation's armed forces are "maintaining a full readiness posture in close cooperation with the United States" in preparation for "further launches."

The most recent North Korean missile launch was also confirmed by the Japanese Coast Guard.

The US Indo-Pacific Command acknowledged the launch and added that it was "destabilizing," noting that neither American personnel nor territory nor our partners were in direct danger from the missile. Officials from the American military reiterated Washington's "ironclad" commitment to safeguarding Japan and South Korea.

A US B-1B strategic bomber with nuclear weapons capability returned "for joint exercises Sunday, just 16 days after its previous deployment," according to the Yonhap news agency in South Korea.

On Thursday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un saw the launch of a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) - which, he said, was intended to "strike fear into foes" and "deter conflict," as stated by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

The test comes after a number of others that were completed recently.

According to Pyongyang, the recent spike in missile launches is a reaction to the continuing "Freedom Shield" military drills between the US and South Korea. The North has made it clear time and time again that it sees the exercises as a buildup to military assault.

The drill, which started on Monday and is anticipated to end on Thursday, has been dubbed the biggest of its type since 2017. This is according to South Korea and the US. The DPRK's activities, especially the record number of missile launches in 2022, are cited by the two countries as justification for the drills.

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