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SEOUL: North Korea fired at least one ballistic missile Wednesday, Seoul’s military said, the latest launch from Pyongyang following a record-breaking testing blitz earlier this month.

The launch comes as the United States counted votes in the midterm elections for the House and Senate, which Seoul’s spy agency had previously warned would be a possible moment for Kim Jong Un to conduct a long-expected nuclear test.

“North Korea fires an unspecified ballistic missile towards East Sea,” Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said, referring to the body of water also known as the Sea of Japan.

The military did not give any further details.

Japan also confirmed the launch, with the government tweeting that Pyongyang “has launched a suspected ballistic missile”.

Earlier this month, North Korea conducted a flurry of launches, including an intercontinental ballistic missile, which Seoul said appeared to have failed.

Pyongyang also fired a short-range ballistic missile that crossed the de facto maritime border and landed near the South’s territorial waters.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said at the time that it was “effectively a territorial invasion”.

North Korea fires ‘unspecified ballistic missile’: South’s military

Both launches were part of a Wednesday November 2 barrage, when Pyongyang fired 23 missiles – more than it launched during the whole of 2017, the year of “fire and fury” when Kim traded barbs with then-US president Donald Trump on Twitter and in state media.

Drills, predictions

The flurry of launches came as hundreds of US and South Korean warplanes – including B-1B heavy bombers – were participating in the large-scale joint air drills, called Vigilant Storm, which Pyongyang has described as “aggressive and provocative”.

Pyongyang ramped up missile launches in response to the drills. Such exercises have long provoked strong reactions from North Korea, which sees them as rehearsals for an invasion.

“North Korea seems to have sufficiently achieved its political and diplomatic purposes by its massive missile launches earlier this month,” North Korean studies scholar Ahn Chan-il told AFP.

“It seems to be in the process of testing where to deploy strategic military units to mount tactical nuclear weapons for its next nuclear test.”

Seoul and Washington have been warning for months that the North is ready to conduct another nuclear test – which would be the country’s seventh – at any time.

But analysts questioned the utility of trying to predict exactly when it was to come.

“I really don’t get the fascination with trying to predict when NorthKorea’s next nuclear test will be,” Korea specialist Jenny Town wrote on Twitter. “How has this been going on for so many months now? The reality is DPRK does need to do additional testing to achieve the goals that they set. Not just one, but a few,” she wrote, referring to North Korea by its official name.

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Rebirth Nov 10, 2022 05:16pm
While the Russians are expanding westwards, the Chinese took land from India, did drills with Thailand, built bases in Cambodia, signed pacts with pacific island nations and might invade Taiwan. And then, there’s N. Korea. Iran is no longer a bogeyman for Israel and the Arabs. It’s now destabilizing all of Europe. The US national security budget is at $1.5 trillion, more than the budget of all of those nations combined. Yet, the ground realities don’t reflect that. Why did COVID help other nations militarily, economically and politically, while the US crumbled on all those fronts like it’s infrastructure? While at home, their Latin American population rose above 25% during this time, amounting to an invasion of sorts. Other nations also made technological advancements in the defence industry that the US can’t respond to. To any independent observer, it’s clear that there’s something really troubling happening behind closed doors, within the US. And it’s not their political theatre.
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