North Korea fires ballistic missile into the waters off east coast

South Korea’s military says it has detected that North Korea fired at least one ballistic missile toward waters off its eastern coast, adding to a series of weapons demonstrations that have raised tensions in the region.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff on Tuesday did not immediately confirm how far the missile flew. It was the North’s first known launch event since March 18, when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un supervised a live-fire drill of artillery systems designed to target South Korea’s capital.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have risen since 2022 as Kim used Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a distraction to accelerate his testing of missiles and other weapons.

The United States and South Korea have responded by expanding their combined training and trilateral drills involving Japan and sharpening their deterrence strategies built around strategic U.S. assets.

There are concerns that North Korea could further dial up pressure in an election year in the United States and South Korea.

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