North Korea launched a suspected ballistic missile off its east coast on Wednesday, highlighting its leader Kim Jong Un’s New Year commitment to support the military in addressing an unstable international situation.
The Japanese Coast Guard said the test it may have been a ballistic missile and the defense minister in later claimed that it flew about 500 km.
“North Korea has repeatedly fired missiles since last year, which is very unfortunate,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters.
And South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff said North Korea has launched what should be a ballistic missile from a land-based site into the sea.
“Our armed forces are maintaining a state of preparedness in anticipation of a possible additional launch, while monitoring the situation closely in close cooperation with the United States “, reads in a note. Recent test North Korea’s missiles have often involved the launch of two or more missiles at a time.
The National Security Council of South Korea held an emergency meeting, expressing concern that the launch “took place. in one moment in which internal and external stability is considered extremely important “and called on North Korea to return to the talks.
United Nations Security Council resolutions prohibit all test North Korea’s ballistic and nuclear missiles and impose sanctions on the program.
In the summaries of Kim’s pre-New Year speech released by the media state, the leader did not specifically mention missiles or nuclear weapons, but said national defense should be strengthened.
South Korean military officials said Northern forces have been conducting winter drills for several weeks.
North Korea has become increasingly isolated since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, as it has imposed border restrictions that severely slowed trade and restricted all direct diplomatic dialogues.
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