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N Korea fires ballistic missile toward sea

World 'holding breath' over possible N Korea nuclear test: IAEA chief

October 29, 2022 00:00:00

SEOUL, Oct 28 (AP): North Korea fired a ballistic missile toward the sea on Friday, Seoul officials said, as its rival South Korea was wrapping up an annual military drill that the North views as an invasion rehearsal.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement the missile flew toward North Korea's eastern waters but gave no further details including how far the weapon flew.

The launch, the latest in a series of weapons tests by North Korea in recent weeks, came on the final day of South Korea's annual 12-day "Hoguk" field exercises, which also involved an unspecified number of US troops this year.

The South Korean and US air forces plan to conduct a large-scale training next week.

North Korea sees such regular drills by Seoul and Washington as practice for launching an attack on the North, though the allies say their exercises are defensive in nature.

Friday's launch came four days after the rival Koreas exchanged warning shots along their disputed western sea boundary, a scene of past bloodshed and naval battles.

An AFP report adds: The world is holding its breath over the possibility that North Korea might undertake a nuclear bomb test, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency said Thursday.

"Everybody is holding its breath about this, because another nuclear test would be yet another confirmation of a programme which is moving full steam ahead, in a way that is incredibly, incredibly concerning," IAEA head Rafael Grossi said after meeting with the UNWorld Security Council on Ukraine.

"Further tests, of course, means that they are refining the preparations and the construction of their arsenal," he told reporters.

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