North Korea launched its ninth missile test this year

“The South Korean military maintains a state of readiness by monitoring relevant movements in preparation for additional launches,” the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

The statement said that the missile was launched from the Sunan region, near the capital, Pyongyang.

The Japanese Coast Guard alerted its ships, saying, “a possible ballistic missile (ballistic missiles) was launched from North Korea.”

“We advise ships to pay attention to more information, and if they spot any falling objects, do not approach and report the relevant information to the Japan Coast Guard,” she added.

South Korea’s presidential office said in a statement that South Korea’s National Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Saturday morning.

International tension has risen over North Korea’s recent series of ballistic missile tests, measures long banned by the United Nations Security Council.

This is North Korea’s ninth missile test in 2022. January saw a record number of such tests, with no fewer than seven launches during the month including a new type of “hypersonic missile” capable of maneuvering at high speed.

Analysts note that mounting testing this year shows Kim is striving to achieve domestic goals and shows to an increasingly turbulent world that Pyongyang remains a player in the struggle for power and influence.

Saturday’s launch comes just days before South Korea’s March 9 presidential election, in which North Korea is likely to be a major electoral issue.

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