North Korea fires suspected ballistic missile into sea

SEOUL (AP) — North Korea has fired at least one suspected ballistic missile into the sea, according to its neighbors’ militaries, apparently extending its streak of weapons tests this year amid a prolonged freeze in nuclear negotiations with the United States.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff on Saturday said the weapon was fired toward the country’s eastern waters but didn’t immediately say how far it flew. Japan’s Defense Ministry said the weapon was possibly ballistic.

It was the North’s ninth round of weapons launches in 2022 as it continues to use a pause in diplomacy to expand its military capabilities while attempting to pressure the Biden administration for concessions.

Nuclear disarmament talks between Washington and Pyongyang have been stalled since 2019 over disagreements about exchanging crippling U.S.-led sanctions against the North for the North taking steps to wind down its nuclear and missile programs.