North Korea launches ballistic missile as war of words with the neighbouring South goes on

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (via REUTERS)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (via REUTERS)

North Korea launched a ballistic missile toward its eastern waters on Monday, South Korea's military said.The Joint Chiefs of Staff said the launch was made on Monday morning, but gave no further details, including how far the weapon traveled.The launch came two days after South Korea, the U.S. and Japan ended their new multidomain trilateral drills that North Korea calls a provocation.

The dictatorship criticised the joint military exercise, saying such drills show the relationship among three countries has developed into "the Asian version of NATO".

South Korea and the United States have accused the North of supplying weapons to Russia that are being used in the Ukraine war. Both Russia and North Korea deny any such transactions.The launch is the North's first weapons firing in five days. Last Wednesday, North Korea launched what it called a multiwarhead missile in the first known launch of a developmental, advanced weapon meant to defeat U.S. and South Korean missile defenses.

North Korea said the launch was successful, but South Korea dismissed the North's claim as deception to cover up a failed launch.The South Korea-U.S.-Japanese "Freedom Edge" drill drew a U.S. aircraft carrier and destroyers, fighter jets and helicopters from the three countries. The training involved missile defense, anti-submarine and maritime interdiction drills.In recent weeks, North Korea has floated numerous litter-carrying balloons toward South Korea in what it has described as a tit-for-tat response to South Korean activists sending political leaflets via their own balloons.