North Korea launches ballistic missile towards East Sea: South Korea’s military


North Korea fired a ballistic missile toward the East Sea on Monday, Yonhap news agency reported citing South Korea’s military. The development has also been confirmed by the Japanese Prime Minister’s office.
Japan PM’s office in a tweet said, “North Korea has launched a suspected ballistic missile. More updates to follow.” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the military is analyzing related details, including the missile’s flight distance and apogee, as per the news report. North Korea’s ballistic missile launch comes at a time when Pyongyang has strongly protested the Ssangyong amphibious landing exercise of South Korea and the United States that started last week, according to a Yonhap news agency report. The US-South Korea drills are scheduled to end on April 3.
Last week, North Korea tested a new underwater nuclear-capable attack drone, Al Jazeera reported citing the country’s state news agency KCNA said on Friday. Significantly, the drone operated continuously for 59 hours underwater before being destroyed as part of a drill to intimidate the US and South Korean armed forces.
The North Korean military deployed and test-fired the new weapons system this week during a military drill directed by Kim Jong Un, with the aim to determine if it could produce a deadly blast and wave on a “super-scale.” According to KCNA, “This nuclear underwater assault drone may be launched at any coast and port or operated while being towed by a surface ship.”
The drone was placed in the water off South Hamgyong province on Tuesday and cruised underwater for 59 hours and 12 minutes, at a depth of some 80 to 150 metres, before detonating in waters off its east coast on Thursday, Al Jazeera reported citing the news agency.
However, the South Korean news agency, Yonhap said that the drone’s final target point was a mock enemy port set up in the waters of Hongwon Bay, Al Jazeera reported citing the media report. The drone exercise comes as a US amphibious assault ship arrived in South Korea to participate in the joint military exercise.