N. Korea fires 1 apparent long-range missile toward East Sea: S. Korean military
Baku, February 18, AZERTAC
North Korea fired a suspected long-range ballistic missile toward the East Sea on Saturday, the South Korean military said, its second missile provocation this year, according to Yonhap.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said it detected the launch from the Sunan area in Pyongyang at 5:22 p.m. It did not provide other details immediately.
"While strengthening its monitoring and vigilance, our military is maintaining a full readiness posture in close cooperation with the United States," the JCS said in a text message sent to reporters.
The North previously fired a short-range ballistic missile on Jan. 1.
The latest launch came two days after the South's defense ministry published its new white paper that reinstated a reference to the North's regime and military as an "enemy."
Some observers raised the possibility that the launch could be staged in protest over a series of plans by the South and the U.S. to hold high-profile military exercises.
The allies plan to conduct a table-top exercise at the Pentagon next week under the scenario of nuclear use by the North. They are also scheduled to hold the regular springtime Freedom Shield exercise next month.