North Korea fires missile at sea as US aircraft carrier arrives in region

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North Korea fired a missile into the sea off its east coast shortly after a US aircraft carrier arrived in the area.

Reuters reported on Saturday that an unspecified ballistic missile was fired into the Sea of ​​Japan by North Korea, but further details of the missile’s trajectory were unknown.

The launch came as a US aircraft carrier arrived in South Korea to take part in joint exercises with South Korean forces, and days ahead of a planned visit next week by Vice President Kamala Harris.

North Korea has tested more than 30 ballistic missiles so far this year, including its first intercontinental ballistic missile launch since 2017.

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Kim Jong Un attends a meeting of the Workers’ Party of Korea in Pyongyang, North Korea, February 28, 2022.
(Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

“We are aware of the ballistic missile launch and are consulting closely with our allies and partners,” the US Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement. “While we have assessed this event as not posing an immediate threat to U.S. personnel or territory, or to our allies, the missile launch highlights the destabilizing impact of America’s illegal WMD and ballistic missile programs. the DPRK. American commitments to the defense of the Republic of Korea and Japan remain rock solid.”

The USS Ronald Reagan and its strike group ships arrived at a naval base in the city of Busan ahead of joint drills with the South Korean military on Friday.

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The strike group’s commander, Rear Admiral Michael Donnelly, told reporters aboard the ship that the visit was aimed at building allied relations and increasing interoperability between the navies.

Asked about sending a message to North Korea, Donnelly said, “We leave the message to the diplomats.” He added that joint exercises would ensure allies could respond to any threats.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris smiles during her speech at the NAACP National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. July 18, 2022.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris smiles during her speech at the NAACP National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. July 18, 2022.
(Reuters/Hannah Beier)

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Vice President Harris will travel to the region next week to meet with the leaders of Japan and South Korea on a trip that will focus on Taiwan security.

Reuters and Fox News’ Landon Mion contributed to this report.

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