North Korea has launched a ballistic missile off its east coast, in what is seen as another show of provocation amid growing tensions with the international community. The missile launch was reported by South Korean military officials on Tuesday, and is the latest in a string of such launches from the hermit kingdom.
The missile was launched from the North Korean port city of Wonsan, located on the country’s eastern coast, and flew about 310 miles before landing in the Sea of Japan. South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff said in a statement that the missile flew higher and farther than any other North Korean missile launched in the past.
The launch comes at a time when tensions between North Korea and the United States and its allies in the region are at an all time high. North Korea has repeatedly tested missiles and nuclear weapons in an effort to gain more bargaining power in international negotiations. The United States and its allies have responded by tightening economic and diplomatic sanctions against the country.
The missile launch also comes a week after North Korea threatened to launch a “preemptive nuclear strike” against the United States and its allies in response to what it called “hostile military moves” by the United States and its allies in the region. The United Nations Security Council has strongly condemned the launch and called on North Korea to “immediately cease all such activities.”
The United States has also urged China, North Korea’s main ally, to use its influence to get Pyongyang to cease its provocative actions. China, however, has consistently argued that it has limited influence over North Korea, and has called for a peaceful resolution to the crisis.
The latest missile launch is likely to further heighten tensions in the region and could even lead to further economic and diplomatic sanctions being imposed on North Korea. The United States and its allies have made it clear that they will not accept North Korea as a nuclear power, and that any further provocations will not be tolerated. It remains to be seen how North Korea will respond to the latest show of international pressure.