North Korea nuclear program
North Korea nuclear programiStock

North Korea fired at least one unidentified ballistic missile on Monday (local time), South Korea's military said, the latest in its flurry of weapons tests in recent weeks, AFP reported.

"North Korea fired an unidentified ballistic missile towards the East Sea," Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said, referring to the body of water also known as the Sea of Japan.

The launch comes just days after Seoul and Washington wrapped up their largest joint military drills in five years Thursday.

Pyongyang views all such exercises as rehearsals for invasion and on Friday claimed the recent drills, dubbed Freedom Shield, were practice for "occupying" North Korea.

Pyongyang carried out military drills of its own in response, including test-firing a new nuclear-capable underwater drone and conducting its second intercontinental ballistic missile launch this year.

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.

Last week, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for his country to stand ready to conduct nuclear attacks at any time to deter war, accusing the US and South Korea of expanding joint military drills involving American nuclear assets.

The North Korean leader recently ordered the development of new intercontinental ballistic missiles and massive production of tactical nuclear weapons to counter threats from the United States and South Korea.

He also said last November that his country's ultimate goal is to possess the world's most powerful nuclear force.