North Korea fired at least one unidentified projectile into the waters off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula, South Korean authorities said on Saturday.
The Japanese Ministry of Defense believes the projectile could be a ballistic missile, the country’s coast guard told CNN. The Ministry of Defense also tweeted that a “possible ballistic missile was launched from North Korea” on Saturday.
The Japanese coast guard said the object fell into the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea, at 2:25 p.m. local time.
Saturday’s launch comes just days after North Korea fired a ballistic missile into the waters off its east coast on Wednesday.
North Korea has stepped up its missile testing program rapidly this year; Saturday’s projectile marks the country’s 14th missile launch in 2022 so far, including one that is presumed to have failed in mid-March.
By comparison, it conducted only four tests in 2020, and eight in 2021.
At a military parade on April 25, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to ramp up his development of nuclear arms at the “highest possible” speed.” Experts say the parade, as well as Kim’s rhetoric and the flurry of launches, offer a glimpse into his ambitions for his weapons program – particularly efforts to develop solid-fueled missiles that would be easier to hide from foreign spy agencies.
More to follow.