Updated Sep 28, 2022 - World

North Korea launches missile as VP Harris prepares to visit Seoul

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is shown on a television screen at a train station in Seoul on Septeber 9, 202

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is shown on a television screen on Sept. 9. Photo: Anothony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

North Korea fired a ballistic missile toward South Korea's eastern waters on Wednesday, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff announced in a statement, AP reported.

Why it matters: The move comes a day before Vice President Kamala Harris is set to arrive in South Korea as part of her trip to Asia, which will include a stop at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

The big picture: Wednesday’s missile launch was preceded by an earlier one, on Sunday, and came amid fears that Pyongyang is preparing its first nuclear weapons test since 2017.

  • In confirming that the missile had been detected, South Korea's military did not offer further details as to where the missile had been launched or how far it had traveled.
  • U.S. and South Korean naval ships have been conducting drills this week off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula that have angered North Korea.
  • Harris will be the most-senior Biden administration official to visit the DMZ, which divides the two Koreas.
  • Former President Donald Trump in 2019 became the first U.S. president to cross the DMZ and enter into North Korea.
Go deeper