North Korea launches ballistic missiles, South Korea says

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South Korea’s military has said its neighbor to the north launched three ballistic missiles. Pyongyang had earlier threatened to retaliate following the deployment of a US anti-missile system on the peninsula.

An image of a missile test released by North Korea earlier in July

The South Korean military said on Tuesday the missiles flew between 500 and 600 kilometers (310-372 miles), a range far enough to be able to reach all of South Korea.

The missiles were launched toward the east from somewhere in the North’s western region of Hwangju, according to the South’s military officials.

The launch is the latest in a string of missile tests conducted by Pyongyang since the beginning of 2016. Seoul added that it was keeping close tabs on its northern neighbor.

Rising tensions

The revelation of North Korea’s latest missile launch came a week after Pyongyang warned it would take “physical action” following Washington and Seoul’s announcement that they would deploy a state-of-the-art anti-missile system in the South.

The US and South Korea have not yet announced the location and time of the installation for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAD) system, though North Korea has said it will retaliate as soon as they do.

China has criticized the move, which it says could destabilize the region.

North Korea test fires two powerful, mid-range missiles

Frequent tests

Earlier in July, North Korea announced the successful test of a submarine-launched missile, an action that drew stern condemnation from other countries in the region.

South Korea, Japan and the US have been increasingly on edge following Pyongyang’s fourth nuclear test in January.

Analysts say Pyongyang is making steady progress toward building a missile capable of striking the US.

blc/jr (AFP, Reuters)

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