'North Korea fires one ballistic missile toward the East Sea'

According to South Korea's military, North Korea fired one suspected ballistic missile into the East Sea on Sunday, marking the "recalcitrant" regime's sixth show of force this year.

At 7:52 a.m., the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) detected a launch from the northern province of Jagang, which borders China. According to reports in the media, it did not go into detail. In September of last year, as well as on January 5 and 11, the North launched its self-proclaimed hypersonic missiles from Jagang Province.

In a text message to reporters, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said, "Our military is observing and monitoring related North Korean actions and maintaining a ready posture."  Pyongyang has been raising tensions with a succession of missile launches since the beginning of the year, as Washington has upped economic pressure amid a lengthy stalemate in nuclear talks between the two nations.

In January, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un fired the most projectiles in a single month since assuming power in late 2011. In both March and July of 2014, it launched six missiles. Just two days after an alleged long-range cruise missile test, the North launched what it claims are surface-to-surface tactical guided missiles.

It launched four more missiles earlier this month, including what it claimed were hypersonic missiles. The South Korean military has been closely monitoring North Korean military activities since the North threatened to destroy its years-long moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile testing. The North's latest "saber-rattling" came as it sought to strengthen internal unity in the face of the Covid-19 outbreak and continuing economic hardships brought on by crippling sanctions.

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