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A TV screen showing a news program reporting about North Korea's missile launch with file footage, is seen at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea. Ahn Young-joon

North Korea fires four ballistic missiles into the sea

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said that the missiles flew around 130 kilometres toward the North’s western sea.

SOUTH KOREA’S MILITARY has said North Korea has fired four short-range ballistic missiles into the sea, adding to its barrage of weapons demonstrations this week that has raised tensions in the region.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said that the missiles flew around 130 kilometres toward the North’s western sea.

North Korea this week launched dozens of missiles into the sea, including an intercontinental ballistic missile that triggered evacuation warnings in northern Japan, and flew warplanes inside its territory.

North Korea has described its military actions as an appropriate response to a combined US-South Korea aerial drills, which it called a display of US “military confrontation hysteria”.

The United States flew two B-1B supersonic bombers over South Korea on the final days of the joint drills, in a show of force meant to intimidate North Korea over its intensifying testing activity.

The “Vigilant Storm” exercise, which has involved about 240 warplanes, including advanced F-35 fighter jets from both countries, has triggered an angry reaction from North Korea.

North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said North Korea will respond with the “toughest counteraction” to any attempts by “hostile forces” to infringe on its sovereignty or security interests.

B-1B flyovers had been a familiar show of force during past periods of tensions with North Korea. The planes last appeared in the region in 2017, during another provocative run in North Korean weapons demonstrations.

But the flyovers had been halted in recent years as the US and South Korea halted their large-scale exercises to support the Trump administration’s diplomatic efforts with North Korea and because of Covid-19.

The allies have resumed their large-scale training this year as North Korea dialed up its weapons testing to a record pace, exploiting a divide in the UN Security Council deepened over Russia’s war on Ukraine as a window to accelerate arms development.

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