North Korea has launched a short-range ballistic missile.
South Korean and Japanese officials said the missile was launched Friday into the sea off North Korea’s east coast.
Kang Ho-pil, a senior official in South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the country’s military is issuing a strong warning urging the North to stop such provocative tests.
North Korea also fired about 170 rounds of artillery, according to South Korean officials, and the shells fell inside maritime buffer zones established under a 2018 agreement intended to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Hirokazu Matsuno, Japan's chief cabinet secretary, said Friday’s launch and warplane flyover near the border with South Korea has further escalated tension triggered by the North’s recent weapons tests. South Korea's National Security Council (NSC) condemned the North for escalating tensions.
Matsuno said his “government believes that North Korea may take further provocative action in the future, including conducting nuclear tests.” He said Japan “will continue to work closely with the United States and other countries and make all-out efforts to collect and analyze the necessary information and conduct vigilance and surveillance activities."
Additionally, South Korea scrambled fighter jets after about 10 North Korean military aircraft flew close to the border, the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.
Seoul has imposed its first unilateral sanctions against Pyongyang in nearly five years, blacklisting 15 North Korean individuals and 16 institutions involved in missile development.
The JCS issued a warning to North Korea, urging it to stop provocations and escalating tension.
Some information for this report came from Reuters.