North Korea launches ballistic missile off east coast

Country conducted 17 weapons tests in 2022 involving ballistic missiles, two involved cruise missiles

North Korea launched a short-range ballistic missile off its east coast on Sunday in its first ballistic missile test in nearly four months, the South Korean military said.

The missile test came after the US aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan arrived at Busan, a port on the southeast of South Korea, on Friday to participate in a joint exercise with the South Korean military. The North has traditionally conducted military exercises, including weapons tests, to counter joint drills by South Korea and the United States, which it has called rehearsals for invasion.

The missile was fired from Taechon in North Korea’s northwest at 12.53am on Saturday (6.53am on Sunday local time) and flew 373 miles before falling off the country’s east coast, South Korean defence officials said. The South Korean military condemned the launch as “a grave provocation that undermined the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula” and “a clear violation of resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.”

This was North Korea’s first ballistic missile test since June 5th, when it launched a volley of eight short-range ballistic missiles. The country has conducted 17 weapons tests this year that involved ballistic missiles, as well as two that involved cruise missiles. In the last such test, on August 17th, North Korea launched two cruise missiles.


A number of United Nations resolutions ban North Korea from developing and testing ballistic missiles, as well as nuclear weapons. But the country has said it is a sovereign state and that it has the right to develop and import and export weapons.

Talks between the United States and North Korea have broken down without an agreement on how to roll back the North’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes. Since his diplomacy with president Donald Trump collapsed in 2019, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has shown little interest in giving up his nuclear arsenal, instead vowing to expand it.

South Korea’s president Yoon Suk Yeol has offered the North economic incentives to take steps toward eradicating its nuclear arsenal. North Korea has called the proposal “repulsive” and has vowed not to negotiate away its nuclear weapons.

South Korean and US officials have warned for months that North Korea is ready to restart its nuclear tests in an underground testing site at the country’s northeastern corner. — This article originally appeared in The New York Times.