North Korea fires ballistic missile on day of Yoon’s visit to Japan

Sylvie Claire / March 16, 2023

North Korea fired another ballistic missile on Thursday, just hours before the South Korean president’s visit to Japan, Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
  
The unidentified missile was fired into the waters east of the Korean peninsula, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement, without giving further details.
 
Washington and Seoul have strengthened their defense cooperation in the face of growing military and nuclear threats from North Korea, which has increased weapons testing in recent months.
 
This new show of force comes hours before a visit to Tokyo by South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol to discuss, among other things, North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapons programs, and at a time when Seoul and Washington are conducting joint military maneuvers that Pyongyang sees as rehearsals for an invasion of its territory.
 
The Japanese Ministry of Defense said on Twitter that the missile was likely to “fall outside the exclusive economic zone of Japan, about 550 km east of the Korean Peninsula.
 
The Japanese Coast Guard asked ships in the area to watch out for any debris floating in the sea.
 
According to the South Korean military, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles on Tuesday – its first launch since the start of the largest U.S.-South Korean exercises in five years, called “Freedom Shield.
 
On Sunday, Pyongyang also fired two strategic cruise missiles from a submarine.
 
In a rare development, the South Korean military revealed in early March that Washington and Seoul’s special forces would hold “Teak Knife” military maneuvers – which involve simulated precision strikes on key facilities in North Korea – before “Freedom Shield. »

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