According to South Korea, the self-declared nuclear power North Korea has fired at least one military missile towards the Yellow Sea between China and the Korean peninsula. The rocket was shot down on Thursday evening (local time) in the area around the port city of Nampo on the west coast, South Korea's general staff said in Seoul. It is a short-range ballistic missile. How far she flew is not yet known. The military is also investigating indications that North Korea may have fired several short-range missiles, it said.
North Korea is prohibited from testing ballistic missiles of any range by UN decisions. Depending on the design, such rockets can also be equipped with a nuclear warhead. The largely isolated country is subject to international sanctions because of its nuclear weapons program.
Neighboring South Korea viewed the new weapons test as another show of strength. Pyongyang recently warned the United States and its ally South Korea against undertaking new joint military maneuvers and threatened countermeasures. Both countries have denied Pyongyang's accusation that their military exercises were in preparation for an attack.
On Monday, both countries held a new air force exercise, to which the US sent a long-range B-52 bomber capable of serving as a nuclear weapons carrier. Both sides want to start eleven-day commando training next Monday, which will be accompanied by military exercises in the field.
Tensions on the Korean peninsula have been increasing for the past year. North Korea increased the scope of its missile tests. The US and South Korea resumed their maneuvers.