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Friday, June 21, 2024

North Korea Launches a Ballistic Missile, South Korea Says

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North Korea launched a ballistic missile off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula on Sunday, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

The missile was fired from the Sunan area of North Korea at around 7.52 a.m. local time, the Joint Chiefs said.

Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said North Korea launched “at least one ballistic missile,” that flew a distance of 300 kilometers (186 miles) and to a maximum altitude of 600 kilometers (373 miles).

South Korea’s National Security Council (NSC) said the launch was “undesirable” for peace stabilization while the world is trying to resolve the Ukraine war, according to the Blue House, South Korean presidential office.

NSC also expressed “deep concern and severe regret” over the launch, which marks the eighth missile test this year, and urged the North to “immediately stop actions contrary to peaceful resolution through diplomacy.”

The newest launch comes less than two weeks ahead of the South Korea presidential election on March 9, in which North Korea is likely to be a key electoral issue. If conservative candidate Yoon Suk Yeol is successful, analysts expect him to take a much harder line against the North compared to current President Moon Jae-in.

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