North Korea launches 2 ballistic missiles into Sea of ​​Japan, says South Korea: National



North Korea fired two ballistic missiles off its east coast on Wednesday, the South Korean military said, two days after North Korea claimed to have tested a new missile in its first weapons test in six months.

The two ballistic missiles launched from a site in central North Korea flew into the waters off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula on Wednesday afternoon, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

The statement said that intelligence authorities in South Korea and the United States are analyzing more details about the North Korean launches. He said that South Korea has strengthened its surveillance stance against North Korea.

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Japan’s coast guard confirmed that both missiles landed outside the Japanese Exclusive Economic Zone in the Sea of ​​Japan between Japan and the Korean Peninsula. No ships or planes reported damage, the Coast Guard said.

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North Korea said Monday that it tested a newly developed cruise missile twice over the weekend. North Korean state media described the missile as a “strategic weapon of great importance”, implying that it was developed with the intention of arming it with nuclear warheads. According to North Korean accounts, the missile flew about 1,500 kilometers (930 miles), a distance that is capable of reaching all Japanese and US military installations there.

Many experts say the North Korean test suggested that North Korea is pushing to beef up its weapons arsenal amid a stalemate in nuclear diplomacy between Pyongyang and Washington.

The latest launch came when Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was in Seoul to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and other senior officials to discuss stalled nuclear diplomacy with North Korea. .

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Talks between the United States and North Korea have stalled since 2019, when the Americans rejected North Korea’s demand for major sanctions relief in exchange for the dismantling of a former nuclear facility. So far, the Kim administration has threatened to build high-tech weapons aimed at the United States and has rejected the Biden administration’s proposals for dialogue, demanding that Washington first abandon its “hostile” policies.

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North Korea’s resumption of test activity is likely an attempt to pressure the Biden administration for a diplomatic freeze after Kim failed to exploit his arsenal for financial gain during Donald Trump’s presidency.

North Korea ended a yearlong hiatus in ballistic testing in March by firing two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea, continuing the tradition of testing new American administrations with weapons demonstrations aimed at gauging Washington’s response and snatching concessions. .

North Korea still maintains a self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests, a sign that it may not want to completely derail nuclear negotiations with the United States.

© 2021 The Canadian Press