North Korea fires at least three short-range ballistic missiles, South Korea says

By Gawon Bae, Jonny Hallam, Tara John and Emiko Jozuka, CNN

North Korea fired at least three short-range ballistic missiles from a site south of Pyongyang on Saturday, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, the latest in an unprecedented year of weapons testing.

In a text to reporters, the Joint Chiefs said the projectiles were fired from the Chunghwa area of North Hwanghae province at around 8 a.m. local time Saturday.

Japan’s Defense Ministry said three ballistic missiles – each with a maximum altitude of approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) and a flight distance of roughly 350 kilometers (217 miles) – had fallen into waters off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula, outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

This is the 37th day this year that North Korea has conducted a missile launch, according to CNN’s count.

Last week, it fired two short-range ballistic missiles, according to South Korean officials.

In 2020, North Korea conducted four missile tests. In 2021, it doubled that number. In 2022, the isolated nation has fired more missiles than any other year on record, at one point launching 23 missiles in a single day.

North Korea has fired more than 90 cruise and ballistic missiles so far this year, showing off a range of weapons as experts warn of a potential nuclear test on the horizon.

Though the tests themselves aren’t new, their sheer frequency marks a significant escalation that has put the Pacific region on edge.

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