North Korea has fired a pair of ballistic missiles into the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan, officials from South Korea, Japan, and the United States said on March 24.
“North Korea this morning fired two unidentified projectiles into the East Sea from South Hamkyung Province,” the South Korean government said in a statement, adding that it is analyzing for additional information together with the U.S. intelligence.
“South Korean military has strengthened its surveillance and maintaining readiness in close cooperation with the U.S.,” the Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea further stated.
Senior U.S. officials confirmed to news media of the launch and said that the U.S. military is analyzing data to determine what kind of missile was fired and how far they traveled.
A U.S. official told ABC News that at least one of the missiles was a medium-range ballistic missile while the other may be a new type.
“We strictly and strongly protest this launch,” Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters in Tokyo.
Suga added that according to initial assessments, the missiles landed just outside of Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
The Japanese coast guard have warned ships against coming close to fallen debris.
North Korea’s ballistic missile launch violates the United Nations Security Council Resolutions and it is the second test launch in a week.
Over the weekend, North Korea launched two short-range missiles, carrying out its first missile test since U.S. President Joe Biden took office, but the U.S. reported the launch on March 23.
Senior U.S. administration officials downplayed last weekend’s test launch.
“We see this action in the category of normal activity,” a senior administration official told reporters.
North Korea has refused to hold talks with the Biden administration unless it abandons “hostile” policies over its nuclear program.
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