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A man watches a TV broadcasting a news report on North Korea firing a ballistic missile off its east coast
A man watches a TV broadcasting a news report on North Korea firing a ballistic missile off its east coastImage: Heo Ran/REUTERS
ConflictsNorth Korea

North Korea fires ballistic missiles toward eastern waters

December 23, 2022

Seoul said Pyongyang launched two short-range ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan. The latest show of force came days after US-South Korea drills in the region and amid heightened tensions.


South Korea's military on Friday said North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles toward its eastern waters. 

Pyongyang has ramped up weapons testing this year with an unprecedented number of tests. The International Atomic Energy Agency has warned that the country could be preparing for a nuclear test.

What we know about the latest launch 

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said two short-range ballistic missiles were launched by North Korea at around 4:30 p.m. local time (0730 GMT).

The missiles were fired from Pyongyang and toward the Sea of Japan, Seoul said.      

"Our military maintains a full readiness posture while closely cooperating with the US while strengthening surveillance and vigilance," the Joint Chiefs of Staff said. 

Japan's prime minister office had said earlier that North Korea launched a "suspected ballistic missile."

US-South Korea drills 

The latest launch comes just days after US-South Korea military drills included flying nuclear-capable bombers near the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea views such military exercises as an invasion rehearsal.

The US flew nuclear-capable bombers and advanced stealth jets near the Korean Peninsula during the joint exercises with South Korea on Tuesday. 

The training followed a recent claim by North Korea that it had launched tests as part of developing its first military spy satellite and a new strategic weapon.

North Korea's leader Kim Jung Un said this year that he wanted to the country to have the world's most powerful nuclear force. 

South Koreans prepared for North Korea's nukes

Heightened tensions 

Hours before Friday's launch, the White House said North Korea had delivered arms to the Russian private military group Wagner.

Japanese media also reported that North Korea had shipped artillery shells and other munitions to Russia last month. 

The claims sparked further tensions, with North Korea denying the allegations and calling them "groundless."

Without mentioning Wagner, Pyongyang instead slammed Washington for sending weapons to Ukraine

fb/wd (AFP, AP, Reuters) 

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