Prior to US-South Korea drills, North Korea launches a ballistic missile into the East Sea

North Korea test-fires long-range strategic cruise missiles

North Korea launched a short-range ballistic missile off the Korean peninsula’s eastern coast on Sunday, ahead of joint military exercises with South Korea and the US.

Two days prior to the launch of the ballistic missile, a nuclear-powered US aircraft arrived in South Korea for training exercises, according to reports quoting South Korean military authorities. According to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), the media reported on Saturday that the missile was launched from a location in or near Taechon, North Pyongan Province, at 6:53 a.m. The missile travelled 600 kilometres at a top speed of Mach 5 and an apogee of roughly 60 kilometres.

The incident is currently being thoroughly examined by the intelligence personnel of both nations.

The Yonhap News Agency reported that “while tracking the North Korean movements to prepare against any additional provocation in close cooperation with the US, our military will maintain readiness based on the capability to respond overwhelmingly to any North Korean provocation,” the JCS said.

Pyongyang tested a total of eight short-range ballistic missiles earlier in June. In response, South Korea and the United States tested an equal number of eight missiles, showcasing their ability to launch prompt, precise strikes on the sources of provocations.

The North Korean leader has carried out more than 100 missile launches, including intercontinental ones, and four nuclear tests during his ten years in office, and he has frequently stated that his nation will continue to increase its nuclear capability.

While this was going on, leaders at the QUAD summit, which was held in Tokyo in May, denounced North Korea’s “destabilising” ballistic missile launches and urged the international community to follow UNSC resolutions.

“We condemn North Korea’s destabilising ballistic missile development and launches, including multiple intercontinental ballistic missile tests, in violation of UNSCRs, and call on the international community to fully implement these resolutions. We urge North Korea to abide by all of its obligations under the UNSCRs, refrain from provocations, and engage in substantive dialogue,” said the joint statement by the QUAD Leaders following the summit that was hosted by Japan in Tokyo.