North Korea fires two ballistic missiles – Japan
North Korea launched two ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan on Sunday, the Japanese Defense Ministry has claimed.
According to the statement, both projectiles traveled around 500 km (310.6 miles) and landed outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said it detected two launches from North Korea’s North Pyongan Province.
“Our military is maintaining a full readiness posture in close cooperation with the United States,” the JCS said in a message to reporters, adding that it was monitoring the situation.
The launches come after Pyongyang announced on Friday that it had successfully tested a “high-thrust solid-fuel motor” to be used in new weapons.
North Korea has test-fired 62 ballistic and three cruise missiles this year, according to Seoul-based newspaper The Korea Herald.
The latest launch comes after Tokyo unveiled a $320-billion five-year defense plan on Friday, its biggest since World War II. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said it was an answer to the security challenges his country now faces.
US and South Korean officials announced on Sunday that a two-week joint Navy SEAL exercise concluded on December 9. Pyongyang previously condemned “reckless” drills, which it considers a threat to national security. Washington and Seoul, however, say that their exercises are defensive in nature.