North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile into the sea near South Korea’s western coast on Thursday, according to South Korea military officials.
The South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the weapon was fired at around 6:20 p.m. from an area around the western coastal city of Nampo. It did not immediately release an assessment of how far the missile flew.
The launch was a show of aggression that came days after Kim Yo Jong, the sister of dictator Kim Jong-Un, threatened “quick, overwhelming action” in response to a joint military exercise between the U.S. and South Korea.
The military exercise involved a U.S. B-52 bomber capable of carrying nuclear weapons flying over the Korean Peninsula along with South Korean warplanes. North Korea has previously described such exercises as “provocations.”
The U.S. and South Korea have ramped up these exercises in response to North Korea bolstering its ballistic missile program, conducting a record number of missile tests and openly threatening to use its nuclear weapons.
Last Friday, the South Korean and U.S. militaries initially announced they would restore their springtime field exercises and would conduct a computer-simulated command post training from March 13-23. The United States has also recently sent advanced warplanes, including the B-1B and B-52 long-range bombers, to train with South Korean aircraft in a show of strength, triggering protests from North Korea, which describes the allies’ joint drills as invasion rehearsals.
The massive springtime exercise was previously canceled by former President Donald Trump in 2018.
Last month, Kim Yo Jong said North Korea would continue its missile testing, going as far as to say her country would turn the Pacific into a missile firing range. On Tuesday, she reiterated that North Korea would consider an attempt by the U.S. to intercept one of its intercontinental ballistic missiles as a declaration of war.
Fox News’ Lawrence Richard and The Associated Press contributed to this report.