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North Korea fires at least 10 short-range ballistic missiles toward its eastern waters

A man watches a television screen showing a news broadcast with file footage of a North Korean missile test, at a train station in Seoul on May 30, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

North Korea has launched multiple short-range ballistic missiles towards its eastern waters, as the country develops its military weaponry in defiance of sanctions.

Ten missiles were fired from the Sunan region at about 6:14 a.m. on Thursday (2114 GMT on Wednesday) towards the east, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

The missiles flew about 350 kilometers (217 miles) before landing in the East Sea, the statement added.

The military condemned North Korea's missile launch and called it a provocative act that poses a serious threat to the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula.

“Our military has strengthened monitoring and vigilance against additional launches, while closely sharing information related to North Korean ballistic missiles with the United States and Japanese authorities,” it added.

Moreover, the United States, a close ally of South Korea, condemned the launch, urging North Korea to “refrain from further unlawful and destabilizing acts.”

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Also on May 17, South Korea's military reported that North Korea launched short-range ballistic missiles near its east coast. Pyongyang later said it tested a tactical ballistic missile with a new “autonomous navigation system.”

The projectile flew around 300 kilometers before splashing down in waters between South Korea and Japan, the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul said.

North Korea has fired off cruise missiles, tactical rockets and hypersonic weapons in recent months as its leader, Kim Jong-un has repeatedly said his government is building up its military arsenal in preparation for war by the West that could "break out at any time" on the peninsula.

Previously, Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader had warned that the US military exercise with South Korea is driving the regional security environment into dangerous turmoil.

North Korea is banned from testing ballistic missiles under UN Security Council sanctions imposed over its nuclear program since 2006.

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South Korea, the United States, and Japan are working together to address North Korea's recent short-range ballistic missile launch, as announced by Seoul's Foreign Ministry on Thursday.

Escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula have surged in the past few months due to the heightened pace of North Korea's weapons testing and South Korea's joint military drills with the United States and Japan, creating a cycle of retaliation.

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