Seoul, South Korea
North Korea fired one short-range ballistic missile into waters off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula on Thursday, according to South Korean military officials.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile was fired from the Wonsan area of Kangwon province at about 10:48 a.m. local time. It added that the South Korean military has strengthened its surveillance and is closely cooperating with the United States.
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said Thursday that Tokyo continues “to collect and analyze necessary information and closely monitor North Korean military trends in close cooperation with the United States and South Korea.”
This marks the 33rd day this year that North Korea has carried out a missile test, according to a CNN count. The tally includes both ballistic and cruise missiles.
By contrast, it conducted only four tests in 2020, and eight in 2021.
Tensions in the Korean Peninsula have steadily risen this year, with South Korea and the US responding to Pyongyang’s missile tests by stepping up joint drills and military exercises, as well as their own missile tests.
The US and international observers have been warning for months that North Korea appears to be preparing for an underground nuclear test, with satellite imagery showing activity at the nuclear test site. Such a test would be the hermit nation’s first in five years.