North Korea fires suspected ballistic missile, says Japanese PM

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CNN

North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles from the Munchon area of ​​Kangwon province toward waters off the peninsula’s east coast, the Joint Chiefs of Staff told reporters on Sunday. South Koreans.

The missiles were launched between 1:47 a.m. and 1:53 a.m. local time on Sunday, according to Japan’s Defense Minister Toshiro Ino.

Both missiles fell outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone, Ino added.

The first missile is estimated to have traveled about 350 kilometers, or 217 miles, at a peak altitude of about 100 kilometers, or 62 miles, according to Ino. The second traveled about the same distance.

Ino noted that there were no reports of damage to ships at sea, but the Ministry of Defense is still analyzing the details and investigating the type of missiles that were launched, including the possibility that it was are ballistic missiles launched by submarines.

South Korea’s military has stepped up surveillance and vigilance and maintains a full readiness posture while cooperating closely with the United States, the country’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

It is the 25th missile launch this year, according to CNN’s tally, which includes both ballistic and cruise missiles. The latest launch came on Thursday when North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles, the latest in a string of launches over the past two weeks.

The Japanese Coast Guard asked ships to pay attention to information and not approach any objects that have fallen overboard. It also asked ships to report any relevant information.

On Tuesday, North Korea fired another missile, without warning, which flew over and passed Japan, causing Japan to warn its citizens to take cover.

The missile on Tuesday flew over northern Japan early in the morning and is believed to have landed in the Pacific Ocean. The last time North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan was in 2017.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has warned that if North Korea continues “on this path” of provocation after its ballistic missile launch on Tuesday, “it will only increase condemnation, increase isolation and increase measures.” that are taken in response to their actions”.

The United States imposed new sanctions on Friday, following recent North Korean ballistic missile tests, the US Treasury and State Department said.

North Korea typically fires its missiles in waters off the coast of the Korean Peninsula, making Tuesday’s flight over Japan considerably more provocative.

The aggressive ramping up of weapons testing has raised alarm in the region, with the United States, South Korea and Japan responding with missile launches and joint military exercises. The United States has also redeployed an aircraft carrier to waters near the peninsula, a move South Korean authorities have called “highly unusual”.

Japan issued a strong protest against North Korea through its embassy in Beijing, Ino said.

U.S., South Korean and Japanese warships conducted a missile defense drill in the Sea of ​​Japan on Thursday, the U.S.-Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement.

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