North Korea launches missile into sea amid drills between US, South Korea

North Korea has reportedly launched a suspected missile towards the sea on Sunday, with Japan’s Defense Ministry and coast guard stating that what appeared to be a North Korean missile was fired on March 19 morning. South Korea’s Yonhap news agency cited the South’s military as saying that North Korea had fired a ballistic missile towards its eastern waters. 

The launch would be North Korea’s third round of weapons tests since the US and South Korean militaries began their joint military drills last week, which the North views as a practice to launch an invasion.

The latest drills between the US and South Korea, which include computer simulations and field exercises, are set to continue until March 23. Although the United States and South Korea have insisted that their training is defensive in nature, North Korea views the drills as a rehearsal for invasion. 

Also Read: North Korea claims almost 800,000 have signed up to fight against US

North Korea’s weapons recently tested include its longest-range Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile, which was designed to strike the US mainland. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been quoted as saying that the ICBM launch was meant to «strike fear into the enemies.»

Defence scientists in Beijing have made alarming predictions about North Korea’s military capabilities, claiming that North Korea possesses a ballistic missile so powerful that it could cause destruction on American soil in just 33 minutes. The missile, known as the Hwasong-15, was fired by North Korea for the first time in 2017 and is a nuclear-capable weapon. 

Also Read: North Korea can destroy America in 33 seconds, claims Chinese defence scientists

Chinese defence experts claim that if the US missile defence network fails to intercept it, the North Korean missile could reach Central America in 1,997 seconds, or roughly 33 minutes.

The focus of this research was published in the Chinese-language journal Modern Defense Technology, and comes at a time when military exercises are taking place between the US and South Korea, and North Korea has also issued threats against America.

North Korea earlier said it had fired an intercontinental ballistic missile to “strike fear into the enemies» as South Korea and Japan agreed at a summit to work closely on regional security with the United States and staged military exercises around the region.

(With agency inputs)

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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