N. Korea fires 1 suspected long-range ballistic missile toward East Sea: S. Korean military

SEOUL– North Korea fired an apparent long-range ballistic missile toward the East Sea on Friday, the South Korean military said, in apparent protest over the United States’ move to reinforce its “extended deterrence” protection of South Korea and Japan.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said it detected the launch from the Sunan area in Pyongyang at 10:15 a.m. It did not provide other details.

“While strengthening our monitoring and vigilance, our military is maintaining a full readiness posture in close cooperation with the U.S.,” the JCS said in a text message sent to reporters.

The launch came just a day after North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui warned her country will take “fiercer” military actions if the U.S. strengthens its security commitment to using a full range of military capabilities, including nuclear options, to defend the allies.

Shortly after Choe’s statement, the North lobbed a short-range ballistic missile into the East Sea.

The North’s reaction followed a trilateral summit among President Yoon Suk-yeol and his U.S. and Japanese counterparts, Joe Biden and Fumio Kishida, respectively, on the margins of annual regional gatherings in Phnom Penh on Sunday.

There, the trio agreed to work together to strengthen deterrence, with Biden reiterating Washington’s “ironclad” security commitment to Seoul and Tokyo.

The North previously fired an intercontinental ballistic missile on Nov. 3. The launch was seen as a failure, as the missile failed to fly on a normal trajectory following its second-stage rocket separation, according to Seoul officials.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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