North Korea fires ballistic missiles

North Korea fires at least four ballistic missiles into waters east of the peninsula.

Elad Benari,

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches ballistic missile launch (archive)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches ballistic missile launch (archive)
Reuters

North Korea fired at least four ballistic missiles into waters east of the peninsula early Monday (local time).

South Korea’s defense ministry initially said the North had fired an "unidentified projectile", but Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later said the reclusive state launched four ballistic missiles, three of which fell into Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone.

"The latest launches of ballistic missiles clearly demonstrate evidence of a new threat from North Korea," Abe told reporters at his residence, according to the Reuters news agency.

The items were fired from North Pyongan province "around 7:36 a.m." South Korean time, South Korea’s defense minister said in a statement earlier.

Several weeks ago, North Korea tested a ballistic missile from the Banghyon air base in the western province of North Pyongan.

The test came a month after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said that the country was close to test-launching an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). State media later said such a launch could come “at any time”.

The UN Security Council later unanimously condemned North Korea for its "irresponsible and provocative" attempts to evade sanctions.

North Korea threatened to take "strong retaliatory measures" after South Korea and the United States began annual joint military drills that test their defensive readiness against possible aggression from the North, noted the Reuters news agency.

The isolated country last year tried to launch a Musudan type missile eight time, but most of those attempts failed.

It did, however, carried out two nuclear tests last year, in defiance of UN sanctions.




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