North Korea fires suspected ballistic missile, a day after claiming 800,000 people volunteered to fight US

Tokyo, Japan

North Korea launched a “suspected ballistic missile” on Sunday, Japan’s Defense Ministry reported.

The news follows a wave of missile tests by North Korea, including the launch of a long-range ballistic missile on Thursday as South Korean and Japanese leaders met in Tokyo and two cruise missiles a submarine and two short-range ballistic missiles a few days before. .

The Japanese Coast Guard said in a statement released at 11:20 a.m. local time that the missile launched on Sunday appeared to have landed.

He warned all ships to wait for further information; do not approach fallen objects; and report any suspicious items.

The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) also said it detected a short-range ballistic missile fired from the Dongchang-ri area in North Pyongan Province in North Korea around 11:05 a.m. local time.

The JCS said the military has heightened surveillance and vigilance for additional launches “while maintaining a full readiness posture through close cooperation with the United States.”

Pyongyang’s latest tests coincide with joint spring military exercises between the United States and South Korea – the biggest war games the allies have staged in five years.

Prior to the 11-day Freedom Shield drills, North Korea had threatened to take “the toughest of counterattacks against the most vicious plots of the United States and its supporters”.

Sunday’s ballistic missile launch came a day after North Korea said around 800,000 of its citizens had volunteered to join or re-enlist in the national army to fight the United States.

The state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper reported on Saturday that about 800,000 students and workers across the country had, on Friday alone, expressed a desire to enlist or re-enlist in the military to counter states -United.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has accused the United States and South Korea of ​​increasing tensions with military exercises.

North Korea often responds to what it sees as “provocations” from the United States with belligerent threats. Experts say that in addition to joint military exercises and the meeting this week between South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese leader Fumio Kishida, he opposed US President Joe Biden’s plan to host Yoon and his wife to the White House next month.

The state visit will be the second of Biden’s presidency, underscoring the close ties between the United States and South Korea, and will take place on April 26. Conservative Yoon and his administration have made strengthening the U.S.-Korea alliance a key foreign policy priority. Biden, likewise, has sought to nurture the relationship, including with the symbolic marker of his trip to Seoul in May 2022, his first stop on his maiden trip to Asia as president.

Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, recently told CNN that in response to drills and summits, Pyongyang may “order longer-range missile launches, attempt a spy satellite launch, demonstrate a solid fuel engine, and maybe even perform a nuclear test.


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