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North Korea fires unspecified ballistic missile: South Korea

Seoul [South Korea], December 31 (ANI): North Korea fired an "unspecified ballistic missile," just hours after South Korea conducted a test flight of a solid-fuel space launch vehicle, according to Yonhap News Agency.

After the firing from North Korea, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff announced the launch. It did not provide other details immediately.

On Friday, South Korea successfully conducted a test flight of a solid-fuel space launch vehicle, the defence ministry said, nine months after its first test of the homegrown rocket, according to Yonhap News Agency.

The state-run Agency for Defense Development (ADD) carried out the test as part of efforts to strengthen "independent" space-based reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities, according to the ministry. It did not disclose the venue of the test.

"This flight test is a follow-up to the test on March 30 and we will achieve progress through the development process over the next several years," the ministry said in a text message sent to reporters.

"Our military will double down on efforts to reinforce defence capabilities, including for the space domain," it added, as per Yonhap News Agency.

On December 26, the South Korean military fired warning shots and scrambled fighters after North Korean drones violated its airspace, Yonhap News Agency reported citing officials.

South Korea issued the warning messages, fired warning shots, and scrambled fighters, attack helicopters and other warplanes to remove them, while it remains unconfirmed whether the vehicles carry any weapons, the official said.

"We also identified them with our eyes," South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) official told reporters on condition of anonymity. "An operation is still ongoing against the vehicles," the official said.

Earlier, South Korea accused North Korea of flying "several" drones that crossed the Military Demarcation Line between the two countries, reported Yonhap News Agency.

South Korea's military detected multiple "unidentified objects," presumed to be unmanned aerial vehicles, in border areas of Gyeonggi Province from 10:25 am, according to an official at the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The North's drone operations have been a source of growing security concerns here, as they could be used for spy operations, as well as potential attack missions against the South, according to Yonhap news agency.

The latest violation of the South's territorial air raised tensions anew after the North fired two short-range ballistic missiles on December 24.

The missiles were fired from Pyongyang's Sunan area at around 4:32 pm local time, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement Friday.

It added the two missiles were launched into the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. (ANI)