North Korea launched an unidentified ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan (called the East Sea in both Koreas) on Saturday, the South Korean military said in a brief statement.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) did not offer more information about this launch, the second that Pyongyang has carried out so far this year.
The Japanese Coast Guard notified the launch at 5:25 p.m. local time (8:25 GMT) citing information provided by the Ministry of Defense.
Shortly after, Japanese government sources quoted by the Kyodo agency also confirmed that it was the launch of a ballistic missile of an unspecified type.
The day before, North Korea threatened an "unprecedented" response to the military exercises planned for March by South Korea and the US, which next week will also carry out a theoretical exercise simulating a nuclear attack by the regime.
Pyongyang carried out a record number of missile launches last year, around fifty, in many cases in response to joint maneuvers by Seoul and Washington and the deployment of strategic Pentagon assets on the peninsula.
Satellite photos also show that the Punggye-ri nuclear test center (northeast of the country) has been completely rehabilitated for almost a year and is ready to host a new atomic test.
Before the launch, the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, has witnessed a soccer match in honor of his father, Kim Jong-il, with his daughter, state media reported.
The act, a match played on Friday between members of the army and members of the Cabinet, marks the sixth public appearance of the minor (which the KCNA agency once again referred to simply as the marshal's "beloved daughter"), and the first time in the one who appears in an event that is not purely military.
Very little is known about the young woman, whose name is believed to be Ju-ae and whose public appearances since November have sparked speculation that Kim is naming her as his successor, though most experts believe it is too early to say. venture anything and possibly the secretive North Korean regime simply wants to portray the leader as a family man.
The soccer game was part of the celebrations of the so-called "Bright Star Day", celebrated every year around February 16 (the day the current leader father, Kim Jong-il, was born).
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