It comes as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sent a congratulatory message to Queen Elizabeth, the reclusive state’s foreign ministry said, as Britain celebrates its platinum anniversary
Image: KCNA via KNS/AFP via Getty Image)
North Korea has launched a ballistic missile at sea off its east coast, it has been confirmed.
The chilling launch came just a day after a senior US envoy left Seoul, South Korea.
Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said North Korea fired an “unknown” missile, without elaborating.
In recent weeks, leader Kim Jong-un has been testing a range of missiles, including his largest ICBM.
US Special Envoy Sung Kim met his South Korean and Japanese counterparts Kim Gunn and Funakoshi Takehiro in Seoul on Friday to prepare for “any eventuality” amid signs North Korea is preparing to conduct a nuclear test for the first time since 2017.
AFP via Getty Images)
Japan’s government also reported that the North had launched a suspected ballistic missile.
Washington has made it very clear directly to Pyongyang that it is open to diplomacy, Kim said during the visit, which ended on Sunday, noting that he was willing to discuss issues of interest to Pyongyang, such as lifting sanctions.
Last week, the United States called for more UN sanctions on North Korea over ballistic missile launches, but China and Russia vetoed the sanctions, publicly splitting the UN Security Council for the first time since punishing North Korea began in 2006 after North Korea conducted its first nuclear test .
In recent weeks, North Korea has tested a number of missiles, including its largest ICBM.
KCNA VIA KNS/AFP via Getty Image)
North Korea’s latest tests came on May 25, when it fired three missiles after US President Joe Biden ended a trip to Asia during which he agreed to new measures to deter the nuclear-armed state.
The first missile appeared to be the North’s largest ICBM, the Hwasong-17, while a second unspecified missile appeared to have failed in mid-flight, South Korean officials said at the time.
The third missile was a short-range ballistic missile (SRBM).
On Saturday, South Korean and American ships completed three-day exercises in international waters off the Japanese island of Okinawa, including air defense, ship, submarine and sea interdiction operations, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
AFP via Getty Images)
The exercises included the USS Ronald Reagan, a 100,000-ton nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, among other major warships.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, who took office on May 10, had agreed with Biden to step up bilateral military exercises to deter North Korea.
North Korea has slammed previous joint drills as an example of Washington’s continued “hostile policy” toward Pyongyang, though it speaks of diplomacy.
This came as Kim sent a congratulatory message to the queen, the hermit state’s foreign ministry said.
Britain is celebrating its Platinum Jubilee this weekend with four days of pageantry, parties and parades to celebrate the 96-year-old monarch’s record-breaking 70 years on the throne.
“I congratulate you and your people on your country’s national day, Her Majesty’s official birthday,” Kim said in a June 2 statement.
Britain and North Korea established diplomatic relations in 2000.
North Korea is one of the few countries the Queen, who is also the head of state of 14 other nations including Australia, Canada and New Zealand, has never visited during her long reign.
However, she has paid a state visit to South Korea.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/breaking-north-korea-fires-ballistic-27149657 North Korea fires ballistic missile amid fears Kim Jong-un prepares nuclear test - World News