North Korea fires missile toward sea, South Korea says

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea fired a ballistic missile toward the North’s eastern waters Saturday morning, South Korea’s military said.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff gave no further details on the launch, such as the specific type of weapon Pyongyang launched or how far it travelled.

It’s the latest in a barrage of weapons tests by North Korea this year. Some experts say North Korea is seeking to modernize its arsenal and increase its leverage in future dealings with the United States.

Saturday’s launch came five days after North Korea allegedly flew drones into South Korea’s airspace for the first time since 2017.

On Monday, South Korea’s military fired warning shots and launched fighter jets and helicopters, after detecting what it called five North Korean drones that violated the South’s airspace. South Korea also flew three drones across the border in response, Defense Minister Lee Jong-Sup told lawmakers Wednesday.

The military apologized for failing to shoot down the drones and President Yoon Suk Yeol called for stronger air defenses and high-tech stealth drones to better monitor North Korea.

In a meeting with his advisers Wednesday, Yoon said South Korea must resolutely retaliate against any provocation by North Korea, saying that will be the most powerful means to deter the North. Yoon also said South Korea must not be intimidated by North Korea’s nuclear weapons, according to his spokesperson, Kim Eun-hye.

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