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North Korea Fires Ballistic Missile Days Before South’s New President Takes Office

Kim Jong Un regime conducts another weapons launch ahead of May 10 inauguration in South Korea of hard-liner Yoon Suk-yeol

Kim Jong Un pledged to ramp up North Korea’s nuclear program at a military parade featuring long-range missiles. The dictator said nuclear weapons aren’t just for self-defense and could be used against nations threatening Pyongyang’s interests. Photo: KCNA/Reuters

SEOUL—North Korea fired a ballistic missile off its east coast on Wednesday, Tokyo and Seoul officials said, a weapons launch that comes just days before a more hard-line South Korean president takes office.

The missile was fired at 12:03 p.m. local time from the Sunan area, which is on the outskirts of Pyongyang and near the country’s main international airport, South Korea’s military said. It hit an altitude of roughly 500 miles and traveled about 310 miles before falling into the waters between Korea and Japan, said Makoto Oniki, Japan’s vice defense minister. South Korea issued a similar assessment.

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