North Korea fired another suspected ballistic missile towards the East Sea on Saturday, a day after warning the US and South Korea about upcoming joint “tabletop” military exercises, South Korean media said.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) confirmed the missile launch but did not provide further details, according to Yonhap News Agency.
This was North Korea’s second missile test this year, following the launch of a short-range ballistic missile on January 1.
The latest launch comes just a day after South Korea’s military announced a “tabletop” exercise at the Pentagon on Wednesday, in which senior defense policymakers from both countries will participate, simulating a North Korean nuclear attack.
The North Korean Foreign Ministry then issued a statement warning both countries that they would face “unprecedentedly persistent and strong counteractions.”
If the US option is to show its muscle and counter everything with muscle, Pyongyang’s option is the same, it stated.
Earlier this month, during a meeting in Seoul, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and his South Korean counterpart Lee Jong-sup agreed to increase the scope and scale of this year’s combined military exercises and training.
Washington and Seoul also agreed to collaborate closely in the future to ensure that US strategic assets are deployed in a timely and coordinated manner.
Tensions on Korean Peninsula escalated late last year when North Korea launched at least 60 missiles while South Korea and the US held joint military exercises.
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