North Korea launched a ballistic missile of unknown type on Monday towards the Sea of Japan (known as the East Sea by the two Koreas), the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a brief statement.
The Japanese Coast Guard also warned that North Korea had launched a “possibly ballistic-type” missile. According to data collected by the Efe news agency, this is the fifteenth launch of missiles carried out by the Kim Jong-un regime in 2023.
On July 12, Pyongyang conducted a test run of the Hwasong-18, its most sophisticated intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
The United States and South Korea have increased the number of joint military exercises and reinforced the regional deployment of US strategic assets, such as bombers, aircraft carriers and submarines, in a show of force against North Korea, which has tested about than 100 missiles since the beginning of 2022.
A US nuclear-powered submarine also arrived last week in South Korea, the second deployment of a major US naval asset to the Korean peninsula, bolstering the show of force to counter North Korea’s nuclear threats. The USS Annapolis arrived at a port on Jeju Island about a week after the USS Kentucky docked in the mainland port of Busan.
The Kentucky was the first US nuclear-armed submarine to reach South Korea since the 1980s. North Korea reacted to the ships’ presence with the conducting a test of ballistic and cruise missilesin an apparent demonstration that it could effect nuclear attacks against South Korea and against US warships.
Thursday marks the 70th anniversary of the signing of the armistice agreement that ended the war between the two Koreas in 1953.