SEOUL: North Korea fired one ballistic missile off its east coast on Tuesday, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said, as Seoul opens a major arms fair, spy chiefs meet to discuss the nuclear standoff, and South Korea prepares to launch a space rocket.

The launch on Tuesday would be the latest weapons test by North Korea, which has pressed ahead with military development in the face of international sanctions imposed over its nuclear weapons and missile programmes.

The missile was launched from the vicinity of Sinpo, JCS said, where North Korea keeps its submarines as well as equipment for test firing submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). North Korea has also launched other types of missiles from that area.

The launch came as the intelligence chiefs of the United States, South Korea, and Japan were due to meet in Seoul to discuss the standoff with North Korea, amid other issues, Yonhap news agency reported, citing a government source.

Representatives of hundreds of international companies and international militaries were gathered in Seoul for the opening ceremonies of the International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (ADEX).

It is set to be South Korea’s largest defence expo ever, with displays of next-generation fighter aircraft, attack helicopters, drones, and other advanced weapons, as well as space rockets and civilian aerospace designs.

South Korea is preparing to test fire its first homegrown space launch vehicle on Thursday. — Reuters