North Korea fires short-range ballistic missile on New Year's Day

© Jung Yeon-Je, AFP

North Korea fired one short-range ballistic missile into the sea on Sunday, the South Korean military reported, as Pyongyang pressed on with last year's record-breaking blitz of launches.

The New Year's Day firing reported by the Yonhap news agency was the second in as many days.

It came from the Yongseong area of the capital Pyongyang and landed in the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan, Yonhap said, quoting the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which gave no immediate details of this missile flight.

Military tensions on the Korean peninsula rose sharply in 2022 as the North conducted sanctions-busting weapons tests nearly every month, including firing its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile ever.

On Saturday the North fired three short-range ballistic missiles, Seoul's military said, a day after South Korea successfully tested a solid-fuel space launch vehicle.

That North Korean launch also followed the incursion of five North Korean drones into the South's airspace earlier in the week.

Monday's North Korean drone incursion was the first such incident in five years and prompted an apology from Seoul's defence minister after the military failed to shoot down a single drone despite scrambling jets for a five-hour operation.

Seoul's military staged drills Thursday that the country's top brass said would improve its defences against any future drone provocations.


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