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North Korea launches two short-ballistic missiles into the sea

North Korea launches two short-ballistic missiles into the sea

North Korea launches two short-ballistic missiles into the sea

North Korea launches two short-ballistic missiles into the sea

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  • North Korea test-fires two short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast, South Korea’s military says.
  • Launch comes days after neighbors trade warning shots off west coast amid escalating tension.
  • There are concerns that North Korea is preparing for its first nuclear test since 2017.
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South Korea’s military claimed North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) off its east coast on Friday, ending nearly two weeks of significant deterrence drills.

At a time of mounting concerns that North Korea is preparing for its first nuclear test since 2017, the launch was the latest in a record year of missile tests, including short-range and ICBMs.

The South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) stated the SRBMs were fired from North Korea’s east coast in Tongcheon, Gangwon province, four days after the neighbors traded warning shots off the west coast amid escalating tension.

“Our military is maintaining full readiness posture,” the JCS said in a statement, adding that it had stepped up monitoring and security while coordinating closely with the United States.

South Korean and US planes were scheduled to begin significant drills on Monday after finishing the 12-day Hoguk 22 field exercises, which included some training with US troops, on Friday.

North Korea claims that the combined exercises are provocative and a rehearsal for an invasion, prompting its recent missile launches.

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South Korea and the US claim the exercises are defensive and necessary to deter the North.
The US and its partners believe the North may resume nuclear bomb testing for the first time since 2017.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said the North had finished all technical preparations for an underground blast at Punggye-ri, which has been closed since 2018.

From 2006 to 2017, North Korea conducted six nuclear tests.

A seventh North Korean nuclear test would be further “confirmation of a program which is moving full steam ahead in a way that is incredibly concerning,” the head of the UN nuclear watchdog said on Thursday.

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South Korea has warned that a resumption of the North’s nuclear testing would have to be met with an “unparalleled” response from the allies, but neither it nor the United States has given details.

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