North Korea has fired another missile, according to the South Korean military. The short-range missile was shot near the North Korean capital Pyongyang in the direction of the Sea of Japan (Korean: East Sea) on Friday night, the Yonhap agency reported, citing the South Korean general staff. At a maximum altitude of 50 kilometers, you have covered a distance of around 700 kilometers.
The rocket launch was also accompanied by around 170 artillery shells fired by the North Korean military along the so-called maritime buffer zones around the inner-Korean border. 140 shots are said to have been fired west towards the Yellow Sea and another 30 towards the East towards the Sea of Japan. Shortly before, according to the South Korean General Staff, North Korea had flown more than 10 warplanes near the inner-Korean border, whereupon the South Korean military also responded by dispatching several warplanes, including stealth fighters.
The North Korean military has been conducting missile tests at an unusually high frequency since the end of September. According to the government, this should also simulate the shelling of South Korean airfields with tactical nuclear weapons. Dummy nuclear warheads were used in the weapons tests, which were personally monitored by ruler Kim Jong Un.
According to the North Korean news agency KCNA, the government had previously justified its missile tests in response to the recent naval maneuvers by the South Korean and US armed forces, in which the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan took part for the first time in four years. In early October, Pyongyang also had a medium-range missile fly over the Japanese archipelago for the first time in five years. The last time North Korea launched a missile over Japan in 2017, the country conducted a nuclear weapons test just days later.
According to the South Korean Defense Ministry, North Korea is currently preparing to launch a ballistic submarine missile and an ICBM. Experts also expect North Korea to conduct its first nuclear test since 2017 in the coming weeks. UN resolutions prohibit North Korea from testing ballistic missiles of any range, which, depending on the design, can also carry a nuclear warhead.