North Korea launches ‘two ballistic missiles’ in second test in a week

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Officials in Japan and South Korea said on Wednesday that North Korea has fired two ballistic missiles in its second major weapons test in less than a week.

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The Japan Coast Guard said the projectiles appeared to have landed outside the country’s exclusive economic zone, while South Korea said they landed off its east coast.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga called the launch “outrageous” as he strongly condemned the act and called it a threat to the peace and security of the region. Mr Suga said the use of ballistic missiles is a direct violation of UN Security Council resolutions.


South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the two ballistic missiles were launched from a site in central North Korea.

He flew toward the waters off the east coast of the Korean peninsula, adding that both South Korean and US intelligence agencies were analyzing the launch for more details.

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It is the second major test by North Korea in less than a week after the country successfully fired what it called a “strategic” cruise missile. The launch was its first weapon test in six months.

The country described the cruise missile tested as a “strategic weapon of great importance”, using a common military euphemism to suggest that it might be nuclear-armed.

State run-media said the North Korean cruise missile traveled 1,500 km (930 mi) before falling into the sea and hitting the target, a range that allows it to strike most of Japan.

Experts have warned that North Korea’s recent tests suggest the East Asian country is ramping up its strength and boosting its weapons arsenal amid a standoff in nuclear diplomacy between Pyongyang and Washington.

Talks between North Korea and the United States were disrupted in 2019 when the North sought relief from major sanctions before dismantling its nuclear facilities. This demand was rejected by the administration of then President Donald Trump.

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