North Korea fires missile toward sea, South Korea’s military says

North Korea launched a ballistic missile Thursday toward its eastern waters, South Korea’s military said.

The launch was North Korea’s sixth round of weapons firings in less than two weeks, which has prompted condemnation from the United States and other countries.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the launch was made Thursday morning but gave no further details like how far the weapon flew.

Thursday’s launch came two days after North Korea fired an intermediate-range missile over Japan for the first time in five years.

Foreign experts said the missile fired Tuesday involved an intermediate-range weapon capable of reaching the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam and beyond.

Follows U.S.-South Korea drills

The country’s flurry of weapons tests in recent days came after the United States staged military drills with South Korea and Japan in the waters off the Korean Peninsula’s east coast. North Korea views such drills as an invasion rehearsal.

After Tuesday’s launch, the United States, Britain, France, Albania, Norway and Ireland called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement Thursday that it strongly condemns “the Korean People’s Army on South Korea-U.S. joint drills escalating the military tensions on the Korean Peninsula.”

North Korea carried out a record number of missile tests this year amid long-stalled diplomacy with the United States.

Observers say North Korea aims to expand its nuclear arsenal to boost its leverage in future negotiations with the United States.

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