Ballistic nuclear missile
Ballistic nuclear missileiStock

North Korea was it again on Thursday, having launched another ballistic missile toward its eastern waters, officials said, according to The Associated Press.

This was North Korea’s third round of weapons testing this week as South Korean and US troops continue joint military exercises that Pyongyang considers a threat.

The latest launch also came hours before South President Yoon Suk Yeol was to travel to Tokyo for a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the launch occurred Thursday morning but did not immediately give further details, such as how far the missile flew.

The Japanese Defense Ministry said the missile was fired from a western coastal area of North Korea and was expected to go down at sea about an hour later, around 550 off the North’s east coast and outside the Japanese Exclusive Economic Zone.

On Tuesday, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast. It later said its latest missile launches were a military drill designed to train crews to carry out their mission at any time and "annihilate the enemy" if necessary.

Last week, North Korea test-fired two strategic cruise missiles from a submarine.

The weapons tests have been widely expected as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last week ordered his military to be ready to repel what he called "frantic war preparations moves" by his country´s rivals.

The North has upped the volume of its ballistic missile tests in recent months. The country tested dozens of ballistic weapons in 2022, including its first intercontinental ballistic missiles since 2017.