North Korea fires ballistic missile as U.S.-South Korean drills go on
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile towards the sea off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula on Sunday, South Korea and Japan said, in the latest of a series of tests carried out by the nuclear-armed state since the start of this year.
The missile, launched from the Dongchang-ri site on the west coast around 11:05 a.m. (0205 GMT), flew some 800 km (500 miles) before hitting a target, a South Korean military statement said. Japan’s Defence Ministry said the missile flew as high as 50 km (30 miles).
Soon after the launch on Sunday, South Korea’s Ministry of National De-fence said the U.S. deploy-ed a B-1B strategic bomber to a joint air drill, which Seoul and Washington say they are holding to strengthen deterrence.
The deployment of the bomber was planned in advance and unrelated to the latest North Korean launch, South Korean news agency Yonhap re-ported, citing the military.
Japan and the U.S. also conducted joint air and sea military exercises over the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan
for a third straight day on Sun-day, Japan’s local media reported.
Seoul has condemned North Korea’s ballistic missile launches as a “clear violation” of a U.N. Secu-rity Council resolution.
In a statement on Sun-day, G7 foreign ministers said they “deeply regret” inaction by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) against the North caused by some members’ “obstruction”.
No country was named, but China and Russia have blocked attempts at the United Nations to respond to North Korea’s series of missile tests.