South Korea and the USA are on the verge of large-scale military maneuvers, and a US aircraft carrier has already docked. The answer from North Korea is not long in coming.
North Korea fired a ballistic missile after a US aircraft carrier arrived in South Korea. The test missile, which is believed to be short-range, flew about 600 kilometers towards the open sea after being launched in western North Korea, the South Korean armed forces' general staff said. She fell into the sea off the east coast of the country.
North Korea's latest missile test came ahead of planned US-South Korean naval exercises off the Korean Peninsula. The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan docked in the South Korean coastal city of Busan on Friday to take part in the naval maneuver. The maneuver is also intended to serve as a deterrent against North Korea.
North Korea feels provoked by the United States' joint military exercises with its ally South Korea. The dispute over North Korea's nuclear program is one of the most dangerous conflicts in the world. The conflict will therefore also be a focus of US Vice President Kamala Harris' planned talks, which are expected in South Korea next Thursday. There she meets President Yoon, among others.
Tensions in the region have risen following a series of nuclear-capable missile tests by North Korea this year. Most recently, in June, North Korea fired eight short-range missiles from at least four different locations towards the open sea in the east. North Korea's parliament passed a law on state nuclear policy earlier this month. Among other things, this provides for the use of nuclear weapons not only in the event of an attack by enemy forces, but also in the event of an impending attack on the leadership in Pyongyang. Negotiations between the US and North Korea have been at a standstill since a failed summit between the two countries in Vietnam in February 2019.