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Seoul: North Korea fires ballistic missile toward sea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)
Hyung-Jin Kim, Associated Press

South Korea says North Korea has fired a ballistic missile toward its eastern waters.

South Korea’s military detected the launch from the North’s eastern coastal Wonsan area at 10.48am, the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

It said South Korea has boosted its surveillance of North Korea while maintaining a military readiness amid a close coordination with the US.

Earlier on Thursday, North Korean foreign minister Choe Son Hue warned that a recent US-South Korea-Japan summit accord on the North would leave tensions on the Korean Peninsula “more unpredictable”.

The statement was North Korea’s first official response to President Joe Biden’s trilateral summit with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts in Cambodia on Sunday.

In their joint statement, the three leaders strongly condemned North Korea’s recent missile tests and agreed to work together to strengthen deterrence, while Mr Biden reaffirmed the US commitment to defend South Korea and Japan with a full range of capabilities, including its nuclear arms.

North Korea has steadfastly maintained its recent weapons testing activities are legitimate military counteractions to what it calls military drills between US and South Korean forces, which it views as a practice to launch attacks on the North. Washington and Seoul have said their exercises are defensive in nature.

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