North Korea launched suspected ballistic missile, says Japan

North Korea launched suspected ballistic missile, says Japan

The office of the Japanese Prime Minister announced on Monday that North Korea has launched what is suspected to be a ballistic missile, triggering alerts in the region. According to reports from Yonhap News Agency, the South Korean military identified the missile being fired towards the East Sea early Monday.

An emergency alert was issued by the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office via a post on X, stating, “North Korea has launched a suspected ballistic missile. More updates to follow.” While South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed the detection of the missile launch, specific details were not disclosed.

This incident represents the second ballistic missile launch by North Korea this year, following an earlier launch on January 14. The timing of the launch comes shortly after the conclusion of the annual Freedom Shield exercise on Thursday, an 11-day military drill conducted by South Korea and the US aimed at reinforcing defenses against North Korea’s nuclear and missile capabilities.

In addition to ballistic missiles, North Korea has been active with its cruise missile tests, launching several off its west coast on February 2, marking its fourth cruise missile launch of the year as reported by Yonhap News, citing South Korean military sources. Monday’s launch adds to a growing list of missile activities by North Korea this year, with detection confirmed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff around 11 am local time from North Korea’s west coast.

The South Korean military, in a message to reporters, stated, “While strengthening our monitoring and vigilance, our military has been closely coordinating with the United States to monitor additional signs of North Korea’s provocations.” This launch follows a test of the Hwasal-2 strategic cruise missile by North Korea just three days prior.

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