Thursday, December 2, 2021
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North Korea launches 2 ballistic missiles off the east coast

North Korea launches 2 ballistic missiles off the east coast

SEOUL – North Korea on Wednesday launched two ballistic missiles off its east coast on Wednesday, the country’s first ballistic missile test in six months and a violation of several UN Security Council resolutions banning the country from conducting such tests.

The launch came a day after the US special envoy called on North Korea to resume nuclear disarmament talks, saying Washington had no “hostile” intent against Pyongyang. North Korea conducted its last ballistic missile test in March. Over the weekend, it tested what it called newly developed long-range cruise missiles.

North Korea’s resumption of missile tests came as neighboring countries stepped up efforts to get Pyongyang back to the negotiating table. North Korea is using weapons testing to both improve its missile technology and increase its leverage with Washington.

South Korean and U.S. defense officials analyzed data collected from the North Korean missile test to determine what type of ballistic missiles were fired on Wednesday and how far they had flown, the South Korean Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Japan’s Defense Ministry issued a statement saying that an “object that could be a ballistic missile was fired by North Korea”, but that it was “assumed” that it did not reach Japan’s territorial waters or its exclusive economic zone.

The news of the North Korean missile test broke shortly after Foreign Minister Wang Yi of China, North Korea’s biggest supporter, ended a meeting with his South Korean counterpart, Chung Eui-yong, in Seoul.

“It’s not only North Korea but also other countries that are participating in military activities,” Wang said when asked by reporters to comment on the Nordic weekend cruise missile test. “We must all work together to resume dialogue. We all hope to contribute to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. ”

Wang did not elaborate, but the United States and South Korea conducted joint military exercises last month. North Korea has accused Washington and Seoul of preparing to invade the Nordic region and usually opposes joint military exercises between the two allies with its own military exercise or weapons test.

“The United States has no hostile intent towards” North Korea, Sung Kim, the Biden administration’s special envoy, said Tuesday in Tokyo, where he met with representatives from Japan and South Korea to discuss North. He said Washington hoped North Korea “would respond positively to our more unreserved offer to meet.”

Recent tests showed that North Korea continued to improve its arsenal of missiles despite a series of UN Security Council resolutions banning North Korea from developing or testing ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons.

Motoko Rich contributed with reporting from Tokyo.

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