North Korea fires short-range ballistic missile towards East Sea
Mar 19, 2023
Seoul [South Korea], March 19 : Amid the ongoing military drills between the US and South Korea, Pyongyang has fired a short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) towards the East Sea on Sunday, Yonhap News Agency reported citing the South Korean military.
According to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), the Tongchang-ri area on the country's west coast is home to Pyongyang's primary long-range rocket launch pad. The JCS claimed to have detected the launch at around 11:05 am.
The provocation from North Korea came amid the ongoing military drills between Seoul and Washington. The 11-day drills will conclude on Thursday.
As per Yonhap News Agency, the JCS of the South Korean military informed reporters via text message saying, "Our military is maintaining a full readiness posture in close cooperation with the United States" while stepping up monitoring and vigilance in anticipation of potential further launches.
This is not the first time North Korea has launched a missile towards the East Sea, resulting in a surge in tension across the region.
The North launched an intercontinental ballistic missile called the Hwasong-17 last week.
It came after two short-range ballistic missile launches on Tuesday and two days before, when it claimed two "strategic cruise missiles" were launched from a submarine, reported Yonhap News Agency.
Moreover, the launch of the ICBM took place just hours before a summit between Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol in Tokyo, where it was decided to strengthen security cooperation in response to the North's expanding nuclear and missile threats.
Concerns have persisted that the North could use the allies' exercise as a pretext to launch major provocations, such as an ICBM launch and even a nuclear test.