North Korea launched a short-range ballistic missile into the sea on its eastern coast on Wednesday, according to the South Korean military.
Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile was fired at 3:31 p.m. local time from the western town of Sukchon and reached an altitude of around 30 miles and traveled 150 to 180 miles east into the water.
South Korea’s Foreign Ministry held talks with its Japanese and American counterparts about the situation and warned that North Korea may be ramping up to conduct its first nuclear test since 2017. Satellite images have shown activity at a possible testing site.
Last week, North Korea fired dozens of missiles in response to the U.S. and South Korea conducting joint air force exercises with more than 200 planes, including bombers and fighter jets.
The North Korean military said the launches — which prompted air raid sirens below the 38th parallel — were simulations of strikes on U.S. and South Korean targets, such as bases. One of the missiles fell below the inter-Korean maritime border, a demarcation North Korea does not recognize, according to South Korea’s military.
Salvaged debris was presented to the media during a press conference in Seoul.
Japan’s Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada condemned Wednesday’s launch, saying it threatened “the peace and security of our country, the region and the international community.”
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