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North Korea Fires Short-Range Missile Toward Yellow Sea

North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile toward the Yellow Sea on Thursday, as South Korea's military reported. The launch happened around 6:20 p.m. (0920 GMT) from the North Korean city of Nampo.

North Korean inventory missile
North Korean inventory missile

Kim Yo Jong Issues Statement

The launch follows a statement by Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, that any move to shoot down one of the country's test missiles would be considered an act of war.

South Korea Analyzes Launch

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff are analyzing the possibilities, including the possibility of North Korea launching several short-range ballistic missiles simultaneously from the same area.

North Korea Blames Joint Military Exercise

North Korea blamed a joint military exercise between the United States and South Korea for growing tensions, according to state media KCNA. The "Freedom Shield" drills, a large-scale military exercise, will be conducted by the United States and South Korea starting next week.

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Responds

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command stated that the latest launch posed no threat to the United States or its allies but that North Korea's weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs destabilized the region. U.S. intelligence agencies also said in a threat assessment report that North Korea has been timing its missile launches and military demonstrations to counter U.S.–South Korea exercises to coerce the two countries to change their behavior.