Tokyo, Japan (CNN) Japan’s Defense Ministry reported that North Korea launched a “suspected ballistic missile” on Sunday.
The news comes after a flurry of missile tests by North Korea, including Thursday’s launch of a long-range ballistic missile as leaders of South Korea and Japan met in Tokyo and two cruise missiles from a submarine and two short-range missiles. ranged ballistic missiles. ,
The Japan Coast Guard said in a statement published at 11:20 a.m. local time that the missile fired on Sunday appeared to have landed.
It cautioned all ships to await further information; do not go near fallen objects; And to report anything suspicious.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) also said it detected a short-range ballistic missile from the Dongchang-ri area of North Korea’s North Pyongan province at around 11:05 a.m. local time.
The JCS said the military had strengthened surveillance and vigilance in preparation for additional launches “while maintaining a full preparedness posture through close cooperation with the US.”
Pyongyang’s latest tests coincide with springtime joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea – the biggest war games the allies have held in five years.
Ahead of the 11-day Freedom Shield exercise, North Korea threatened “the harshest retaliation against the most vicious plots of the US and its followers”.
Sunday’s ballistic missile launch came a day after North Korea claimed some 800,000 of its citizens had volunteered to join or re-enlist in the country’s military to fight against the United States.
State newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported on Saturday that some 800,000 students and workers across the country had expressed their willingness to enlist or re-enlist in the military to counter the United States on Friday alone.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has accused the US and South Korea of increasing tensions with military drills.
North Korea often responds to what it sees as “provocations” by the US by making threats of war. Experts say that in addition to joint military drills and a meeting between South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese leader Fumio Kishida this week, it has raised concerns about US President Joe Biden’s plan to host Yun and his wife at the White House next month. objected.
The state visit will be the second of Biden’s presidency, underscoring the close ties between the US and South Korea, and will take place on April 26. The conservative Yoon and his administration have made strengthening the US-South Korea alliance a major foreign policy priority. Biden, similarly, has sought to nurture the relationship, including the first stop on his inaugural trip to Asia as president, with a symbolic marker of his visit to Seoul in May 2022.
Leif-Erik Isley, a professor at Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul, recently told CNN that in response to the exercise and the summit, Pyongyang “could order long-range missile firings, attempt a spy satellite launch , may demonstrate a solid-fuel engine, and perhaps even conduct nuclear tests.”
With previous reporting by CNN’s Gavan Bay