North Korea fires suspicious ballistic missile, day after claiming 800,000 volunteered to fight US

Tokyo, Japan (CNN) Japan’s Defense Ministry said that North Korea launched a “suspected ballistic missile” on Sunday.

News follows a A series of missile tests by North Korea, including the launch of a long-range ballistic missile at Thursday The leaders of South Korea and Japan also met in Tokyo, two submarine cruise missiles and two short-range ballistic missiles a few days earlier.

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 gone down.

All ships were cautioned to await further information; not to approach fallen objects; And report anything suspicious.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) also said it detected a short-range ballistic missile launched from Dongchang-ri in North Pyongan Province in North Korea at around 11:05 a.m. local time.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff said the Army has enhanced surveillance and vigilance in preparation for additional launches “while maintaining a full readiness posture through close cooperation with the United States.”

Pyongyang’s latest tests coincide with joint military exercises in the spring between the United States and South Korea The biggest war games Allies began in five years.

Prior to the 11-day Freedom Shield exercise, North Korea threatened to take “the strongest counter-response against the most vicious plots of the United States and its minions”.

Sunday’s launch of the ballistic missile came a day after North Korea claimed that some 800,000 of its citizens had volunteered to join or rejoin the country’s military to fight against the United States.

State newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported On Saturday, nearly 800,000 students and workers across the country on Friday alone expressed a desire to enlist or rejoin the military to take on the United States.

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

North Korea often responds to what it perceives as “provocations” by the United States with aggressive threats. Experts say that in addition to joint military exercises and this week’s meeting between South Korean President Yoon Sok Yul and Japan’s leader Fumio Kishida, we have made an exception for US President Joe Biden’s plan to host Yun and his wife at the White House next month.

The state visit will be the second of a Biden presidency, underscoring the close ties between the US and South Korea, and will take place on April 26. Conservative Yoon and his administration made strengthening the alliance between the United States and South Korea a major foreign policy priority. Similarly, Biden has sought to nurture the relationship, including the symbolic milestone for his trip to Seoul in May 2022, his first stop on his inaugural trip to Asia as president.

Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, recently told CNN that in response to the drills and summits, Pyongyang might ask to “launch missiles at longer ranges, try to launch a spy satellite, demonstrate a solid-fuel engine, maybe even conduct an experiment.” nuclear.”

With previous reporting from CNN’s Gawon Bae

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