North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea on Thursday in violation of UN Security Council resolutions, Yonhap News Agency reported.
The US State Department condemned the missile launch and encouraged North Korea to “engage in dialogue.”
“We remain committed to a diplomatic approach to the DPRK (Democratic Republic of Korea) and call on them to engage in dialogue. Our commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea and Japan remains ironclad,” the State Department spox said.
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North Korea said Thursday that a railway-borne missile regiment held a firing drill a day earlier, confirming the launches, apparently from a train, of two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea.
“The railway-borne missile regiment took part in the drill with a mission to strike the target area 800 kilometers away from its location after moving to the central mountainous area at dawn on September 15,” the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
The KCNA said the North accurately struck the target in the East Sea.
The missiles appeared to have been launched from a train rather than a transporter erector launcher (TEL), according to photos released by state media.
Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide said the provocation was “completely inexcusable.”
“This is an outrage that threatens our nation and regional peace and security,” Yoshihide said.
The ballistic missiles launched this week come just a few days after Pyongyang successfully test-fired new long-range cruise missiles and hit targets 1,500 km away.
“North Korea’s recent repeated launches of ballistic missiles and other projectiles are a serious problem for Japan and the international community as a whole,” the Japanese Defense Ministry said, according to Kyodo News.
North Korea fired two ballistic missiles into waters within Japan’s exclusive economic zone Wednesday in the first launches of such weapons in nearly six months, the Japanese Defense Ministry said.
The launches came just days after the North said it had tested a new long-range cruise missile, raising fresh alarm in Japan and other countries, including the United States, which has tens of thousands of troops stationed across Japan.
While Japan’s Defense Ministry said the projectiles did not enter Japanese territory, they were initially believed to have landed outside Japan’s EEZ. Further analysis revealed they both fell in waters off the Noto Peninsula, Ishikawa Prefecture, after reaching an altitude of about 50 kilometers and flying around 750 km “on an irregular trajectory,” Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the two short-range ballistic missiles were launched from South Pyongan Province in a central area of North Korea toward the east coast.
Recall, Pyongyang launched two missiles in a challenge to Joe Biden in March after he ran his big mouth and fell going up the stairs to Air Force One.
Clueless Biden laughed when a reporter previously asked him about North Korea’s saber-rattling.