North Korea fires ballistic missile into ocean prior to US VP Kamala Harris’s visit

North Korea launched a ballistic missile into the ocean off its east coast in anticipation of planned military exercises involving an aircraft carrier between South Korean and American forces and a trip to the area by US Vice President Kamala Harris.

On Sunday, according to South Korea’s military, the short-range ballistic missile was launched just before 7:00am local time from a location close to the Taechon region of North Pyongyang Province.

The missile traveled around 600 km with a speed of Mach 5 and an altitude of 60 km.

South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff said in a statement, “North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile is an act of grave provocation that threatens the peace and security of the Korean peninsula and international community.”

The commander of US Forces in Korea, Paul LaCamera, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Kim Seung-kyum, addressed the situation after the launch and reiterated their willingness to respond to any North Korean threat or provocation.

The launch was denounced by South Korea’s National Security Council as an unjustified act of provocation and an apparent violation of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions at an emergency meeting to explore response options.

According to the presidential office, President of South Korea Yoon Suk-yeol was briefed on the launch, late on Saturday following a tour to Britain, the United States, and Canada.