North Korea fires suspected short-range ballistic missile toward Yellow Sea

North Korea on Thursday fired another suspected short-range ballistic missile toward the Yellow Sea, the South Korean military claimed.

The latest missile test occurred four days before the start of an 11-day joint military exercise between South Korea and the US, which is set to begin on Monday.

The launch was detected in the morning from the North's western port city of Nampo, Yonhap News Agency reported, citing a statement issued by South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, who did not provide any additional details.

"While strengthening its monitoring and vigilance, our military is maintaining a full readiness posture in close cooperation with the United States," the statement said.

On Tuesday, North Korea accused the South Korean military of firing artillery shells into "buffer zones," and warned Seoul to stop the "provocative military actions"

Last Monday, South Korea and the US conducted joint air drills involving the US nuclear-capable B-52 strategic bomber, ostensibly to demonstrate Washington's military might against North Korea.

Also read: Russia kills civilians in first huge missile wave for weeks

North Korea's Foreign Ministry strongly condemned Monday’s air drills, accusing the US of deliberately escalating the situation on the Korean peninsula and in the region despite their warning.

While in a separate statement, Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, warned the US and South Korea that interception of its "test of strategic weapon" would be considered a "declaration of war" against Pyongyang.

"A South Korean press organ released on February 24th an indefinite report that the US Indian-Pacific Commander said if we launch an inter-continental ballistic missile to the Pacific, it would be downed immediately," Kim said in her statement published by the state-run news agency.

She said her country’s missile program is for self-defense and warned that intercepting their strategic weapons by the US would be a declaration of war against North Korea.

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