JCS: N. Korea Fired Long-Range Ballistic Missile toward East Sea
The Joint Chiefs of Staff(JCS) said that North Korea fired a long-range ballistic missile, presumed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile(ICBM), toward the East Sea on Thursday, hours before President Yoon Suk Yeol is to embark on a two-day visit to Japan.
The JCS said that it detected the missile launched from the Sunan area in Pyongyang at around 7:10 a.m. toward the East Sea, adding that it was fired at a lofted angle and flew about one-thousand kilometers.
The South Korean military assessed the missile is similar to the North's newest ICBM, the Hwasong-17. Further analysis is underway.
North Korea previously fired what it claimed was a Hwasong-15 ICBM on February 18 at a lofted angle.
The latest missile provocation, the sixth ballistic missile launch this year, comes two days after the North fired two short-range ballistic missiles from the Jangyon area in South Hwanghae Province.
President Yoon is set to hold a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo on Thursday, during which the North's nuclear and missile threats are expected to be discussed.
Thursday's missile firing also comes amid Seoul and Washington's Freedom Shield joint military exercises.
[Photo : YONHAP News]