North Korea fires likely ICBM hours after Biden leaves Asia

North Korea fired a volley of missiles early Wednesday including a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile, just hours after US President Joe Biden left Asia after a trip overshadowed by Pyongyang's sabre-rattling.

Three missiles -- including one suspected ICBM -- were fired from the Sunan area in Pyongyang, Seoul said, where an airfield has become a key site used in multiple recent weapons tests by the nuclear-armed regime.

The launch, one of nearly 20 weapons tests by Pyongyang so far this year, prompted joint US-South Korea live fire missile drills in response, as both sides slammed what they called continued "provocations" by the nuclear-armed state.

The tests are "an illegal act in direct violation of UN Security Council resolutions," Seoul's government said after a National Security Council meeting chaired by new President Yoon Suk-yeol.

The United States condemned the "destabilizing" launches, and called for Pyongyang to "engage in sustained and substantive dialogue," a state department spokesman said.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that it had "detected at around 0600 (2100 GMT), 0637 and 0642 the firings of ballistic missiles launched from Sunan area towards the East Sea", it said, referring to the Sea of Japan.

"The first ballistic missile (suspected ICBM) had a range of around 360 kilometres (225 miles) and an altitude of around 540km," Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

The second ballistic missile "disappeared at an altitude of 20km" and the third -- a suspected short range ballistic missile -- travelled around 760km at an altitude of around 60km.

The Wednesday launches are the latest in a blitz of sanctions-busting weapons tests by Pyongyang this...

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