North Korea has fired a missile into the sea off its east coast shortly after a United States aircraft carrier arrived in the region.
Reuters reported Saturday that an unspecified ballistic missile was fired into the Sea of Japan by North Korea but further details about the trajectory of the missile were unknown.
The launch came as a U.S. aircraft carrier arrived in South Korea to participate in joint drills with South Korean forces, and days before a planned visit next week by Vice President Kamala Harris.
North Korea has tested more than 30 ballistic missiles so far this year, including its first launch of intercontinental ballistic missiles since 2017.
Kim Jong Un attends at a meeting of the Workers’ Party of Korea in Pyongyang, North Korea on Feb. 28, 2022.
(Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)
“We are aware of the ballistic missile launch and are consulting closely with our allies and partners,” the United States Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement. “While we have assessed that this event does not pose an immediate threat to U.S. personnel or territory, or to our allies, the missile launch highlights the destabilizing impact of the DPRK’s unlawful WMD and ballistic missile programs. The U.S. commitments to the defense of the Republic of Korea and Japan remain ironclad.”
The USS Ronald Reagan and ships from its accompanying strike group arrived at a naval base in the city of Busan prior to joint drills with the South Korean military on Friday.
Strike group commander Rear Admiral Michael Donnelly told reporters on the ship that the visit was intended to establish allied relations and increase interoperability between the navies.
When asked about sending a message to North Korea, Donnelly said, “We are leaving messaging to diplomats.” He added that joint drills would ensure the allies could respond to all threats.
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris smiles during her speech at the NAACP National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. July 18, 2022.
Vice President Harris will visit the region next week to meet with the leaders of Japan and South Korea in a trip that will focus on the security of Taiwan.
Reuters and Fox News’ Landon Mion contributed to this report.