South Korean and Japanese officials said that North Korea launched a ballistic missile toward its eastern waters on Wednesday in Pyongyang’s latest missile test, which drew condemnation from the US military.
“The United States condemns these actions and calls on the DPRK to refrain from further destabilizing acts,” US Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement. “While we have assessed that this event does not pose an immediate threat to US personnel, territory, or that of our allies, we will continue to monitor the situation.”
North Korean missile tests have become commonplace again as the Biden administration has made no progress toward holding talks with Pyongyang. According to The Associated Press, Wednesday’s launch was the 14th time North Korea fired a weapon this year.
The launch came ahead of the inauguration of South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol, who will be sworn in next week. Yoon has vowed to take a harder line toward Pyongyang and has accused President Moon Jae-in of being “submissive” to both North Korea and China.
As part of his effort to be tougher on Pyongyang, Yoon is seeking the return of US nuclear weapons to the Korean Peninsula. During talks in Washington last month, Yoon asked if the US could deploy nuclear bombers and submarines.