N. Korea launches ballistic missile toward Sea of Japan

N. Korea launches ballistic missile toward Sea of Japan
Photo credit: Yonhap

North Korea fired a ballistic missile toward the East Sea on Wednesday, but the launch apparently failed, South Korea's military said, after Pyongyang warned of new deterrence measures against the arrival of a U.S. aircraft carrier in the South, Yonhap reported.

A military source told Yonhap News Agency that the North appears to have test-fired a hypersonic missile, but the test is believed to have ended in failure after the missile flew some 250 kilometers.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said the missile was launched from an area in or around Pyongyang at around 5:30 a.m., and the intelligence authorities of South Korea and the United States are conducting a detailed analysis.

It did not offer further details.

The launch came after the North slammed the arrival in South Korea of the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and warned of taking "overwhelming and new" deterrence measures against what it called a "provocative act."

The aircraft carrier arrived in Busan, 320 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on Saturday to take part in a trilateral exercise with South Korea and Japan.

President Yoon Suk Yeol boarded the aircraft carrier Tuesday, saying the visit symbolized the "firm" U.S. security commitment to South Korea and saying trilateral cooperation among South Korea, the U.S. and Japan will serve as another "powerful" deterrent.

The missile launch also came after the North signed a comprehensive strategic cooperation treaty with Russia during a summit last week between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which includes a pledge for the two countries to come to each other's aid if attacked.

The launch also took place hours after the North sent trash-carrying balloons to the South on Tuesday night for the second straight day.

Since late last month, North Korea is estimated to have launched more than 2,000 of such balloons in a tit-for-tat move against anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets sent by North Korean defectors and activists in the South.

The North last launched multiple short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea on May 30.

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