North Korea launched a ballistic missile into the East Sea (also known as the Sea of Japan) on Sunday, according to a South Korean military report, in what would be Pyongyang’s eighth test this year.
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The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff announced that it detected the launch from the Sunan area of Pyongyang at around 07:52, and that it flew about 300 kilometers at a maximum height of 620 kilometers.
The latest launch, the first in less than a month, came 10 days before South Korea’s presidential election and in the midst of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began this week.
For his part, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said the North Korean missile flew some 300 kilometers at a maximum altitude of about 600 kilometers before landing off North Korea’s east coast and outside North Korea’s Exclusive Economic Zone. Japan.
If North Korea deliberately carried out the missile launch while the international community is distracted by the situation in Ukraine, “such an act is absolutely inexcusable,” he told reporters.
North Korea has considered continuing its missile tests in the face of hostility from the United States, after former President Donald Trump’s attempts to establish agreements for the Asian country’s nuclear disarmament failed.
Under Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, the United States has repeatedly declared its willingness to meet with North Korean representatives, while saying it will pursue denuclearization.
But Pyongyang has so far rejected the offer, accusing Washington of pursuing hostile policies.
Separately, Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un emphasizing cooperation between the two countries, according to North Korean state media.
Xi said China was ready to work with North Korea to realize the “common understanding” of the two sides and promote friendly and supportive relations in “a new situation,” state-run media KCNA reported on Saturday.