North Korea fires short-range ballistic missile toward East Sea Sunday morning
North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile on Sunday morning, South Korean military authorities reported.
According to Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), the military detected the launch of a short-range ballistic missile from Taechon, North Pyongan Province, toward the East Sea at 6:53 a.m.
The South Korean military said it is maintaining full preparedness while closely cooperating with the United States and strengthening its surveillance and defensive posture.
Observers believe the missile launch is a demonstration of force by the North in response to planned South Korea-U.S. joint naval exercises, and particularly the arrival of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan in Busan on Friday.
Military authorities are analyzing details of the launch, such as its range, altitude and speed.
They are also analyzing whether the launch involved a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), given recent signs that the North was preparing for a submarine-based missile test, but the military noted an SLBM launch was unlikely as the missile appeared to have been fired from an inland region.
Sunday’s ballistic missile launch comes 113 days after the North fired eight short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) all on the same day, June 5. It is also the fifth missile launch since the inauguration of South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol in May.