North Korea launched ballistic missile, Seoul’s joint chiefs say

SEOUL, Aug. 2 (UPI) — North Korea launched a ballistic missile early Wednesday, according to South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff.

The firing took place at 7:50 a.m. and the rocket was launched from Unyul, an area in South Hwanghae Province, Yonhap reported.

The missile was launched 15 days after North Korea launched two Rodong missiles and one Scud missile on July 19.

Those rockets were fired from an area near the North Korean city of Hwangju and aimed for the Sea of Japan, or the East Sea.

The rocket fired early Wednesday was also headed in the same direction.

The provocation is believed to be a North Korea response to the South’s decision to deploy the U.S. anti-missile defense system THAAD in the region of Seongju in North Gyeongsang Province, according to South Korea press.

Opinion in South Korea on THAAD deployment is creating new divisions, and the missile provocation could be a North Korea attempt to deepen those rifts, Yonhap reported.

Kim Jong Un may have spent up to $99 million on launching ballistic missiles since fully assuming power, according to South Korean estimates.

North Korea has fired 16 Scud missiles, six Rodong missiles, six Musudan missiles, and three submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

Pyongyang had vowed to “physically” respond to the deployment of THAAD in South Korea.

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