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North Korea fires ballistic missile hours after Kamala Harris met South Korea's President

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Tokyo | September 29, 2022 10:58:16 PM IST
North Korea launched two apparent short-range ballistic missiles on Thursday evening, just hours after US Vice President Kamala Harris met South Korean President Yoon Suk-Yeol in Seoul.

Notably, the latest launch came a day after nuclear-armed North Korea fired two short-range weapons on Wednesday and one missile on Sunday, making it the fifth test in five days, The Japan Times reported.

Japanese Defence Minister Yasukazu Hamada slammed North Korea's missile tests and called it "absolutely unacceptable." He also labelled the missile test a "threat to the peace and security of our country, the region and the international community."

Hamada said both missiles had hit a maximum altitude of around 50 kilometres and travelled about 300 km. Both appeared to have splashed down in the Sea of Japan, outside Japan's exclusive economic zone, which extends 200 nautical miles (370 kilometres) from its coast.

Meanwhile, South Korea's military also confirmed the launches of two short-range ballistic missiles and even stated that they had been fired from the Sunchon area of North Korea, according to The Japan Times.

On the same day, Harris visited the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas, highlighting what she called her country's "ironclad" commitment to protecting ally South Korea.

During her visit, Harris condemned the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's provocative nuclear rhetoric and ballistic missile launches, in violation of UN Security Council resolutions, and they discussed our response to potential future provocations, including through trilateral cooperation with Japan, according to the statement released by White House.

Both the leaders reaffirmed the alignment on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the goal of the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

"The Vice President and the President discussed China and Taiwan and the effort to preserve peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, which the Vice President underscored is an essential element of a free and open Indo-Pacific," the statement reads.

Earlier, on Wednesday, North Korea fired two apparent ballistic missiles Wednesday evening, which was also confirmed by South Korea's military.

After the missile launch by North Korea, Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida issued an instruction where it stated that one needs to dedicate maximum effort to gather and analyze the information and provide the public with speedy and adequate information. The second one was to ensure the safety of aircraft, vessels, and other assets. Lastly, "Take all possible measures for precaution, including readiness for contingencies."

The latest missile tests came as the U.S. and South Korea wrapped up joint naval exercises involving the Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture-based USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier on Thursday and were set to hold trilateral anti-submarine drills with Japan on Friday, reported The Japan Times. (ANI)

 
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