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Both North and South Korea fire ballistic missiles as tensions rise on peninsula

On Wednesday, both North and South Korea tested ballistic missiles as tensions rise between the neighboring countries. Pyongyang fired the first missiles, sending two into waters off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula. The missiles were fired just minutes apart around 12:30 p.m. local time. Seoul followed the launch less than three hours later, firing a new submarine-launched ballistic missile from underwater. South Korea’s Defense Ministry stated that the missile hit its target accurately, but did not provide any more details about the test. South Korean President Moon Jae-in was present for the missile test, according to the ministry.

South Korea is intensifying its weapons development program, including missile capabilities, as the country attempts to become less dependent on the United States. In May, the US and South Korea agreed to end a 40-year-old bilateral agreement that limited the range and payload of missiles developed by South Korea, a move that North Korea called a hostile act. Wednesday’s launches make South Korea the seventh military in the world to successfully test a submarine-launched ballistic missile.

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