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South Korea and US fire missiles in response to Pyongyang's new test launches

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North Korea launched 3 missiles into the Sea of ​​Japan on Wednesday morning.

South Korean and U.S. missile forces have fired at least one shot each in the Sea of Japan area in response to North Korea’s new missile tests, Yonhap reports, citing the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“In response to ballistic missile provocation , we carried out [los ejercicios] Elephant Walk and the joint launch of ground-to-ground missiles between the Republic of Korea and the United States,” the military agency said.

North Korea launched three ballistic missiles into the Sea of ​​Japan Wednesday morning from the Sunan district, near Pyongyang, where the main capital airport is also located.

Shots recorded at 6:00, 6:37 and 6:42 (local time), as specified by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Office of South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol severely condemned the evidence of its northern neighbor in a statement issued shortly after the Head of State chaired this morning the meeting of the National Security Council dedicated to the launch of the missiles, one of which could be intercontinental ballistic.

“The participants defined the North Korean missile launch as a serious provocation that violates the resolutions of the UN Security Council , raises tensions on the Korean peninsula and in Northeast Asia and threatens peace internationally, and they roundly condemned it,” reads the statement.

According to estimates by the South Korean military, the allegedly intercontinental ballistic missile traveled about 360 kilometers reaching the maximum altitude of 540 km. The second ballistic missile reached a height of 20 km, and the third, a short-range ballistic missile, covered a distance of 760 km with a maximum altitude of 60 km.

The missiles fell outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone, reported the NHK channel citing government sources.

For its part, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi described the launches as “provocation ” in statements to journalists on Wednesday and specified that his country has expressed a protest through diplomatic channels.

The launches, which are the 17th act of show of force by Pyongyang so far of the year, they take place one day after the US president, Joe Biden, concluded his tour of Asia, reiterating his commitment to security in Seoul and Tokyo.

Reports of new shots follow spec speculations that the North might carry out a nuclear or intercontinental ballistic missile test to enhance its military presence and bolster national unity amid economic problems and outbreaks of covid-19.

In the middle of this month, the South Korean National Intelligence Service reported that North Korean authorities had completed preparations for a new nuclear test. The last one, the sixth nuclear test , had been carried out in September 2017 .

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