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Rabu, 15 September 2021

North Korea fires two ballistic missiles off east coast, angering neighbouring countries - ABC News

North Korea has fired two ballistic missiles off its east coast, according to South Korea's military.

Two days ago North Korea reported it had tested a new missile in its first weapons test in six months.

On Wednesday afternoon, two ballistic missiles were fired from a site in central North Korea and flew toward the Korean peninsula's east coast.

Japan's coast guard confirmed both objects landed outside Japan's exclusive economic zone, in waters between Japan and the Korean peninsula, and there was no damage to ships or aircraft. 

But Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga slammed the launches.

"This is threatening to the peace and safety of Japan and the region," he said.

"[It is] absolutely outrageous.

"This is also a violation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions. We will strongly condemn [the action]."

South Korean and US intelligence authorities were analysing details about the North Korean launches, and South Korea had boosted its anti-North Korea surveillance posture, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. 

North Korea ended a year-long pause in ballistic tests in March by firing two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea, continuing a tradition of testing new US administrations with weapons demonstrations aimed at measuring Washington's response and wresting concessions.

The latest launch came as Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was in Seoul for meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and other senior officials to discuss the stalled nuclear diplomacy with the North.

Talks between the United States and North Korea have stalled since 2019, when Washington rejected the North's demand for major sanctions relief in exchange for dismantling an aging nuclear facility.

North Korea's government has so far rejected the Biden administration's overtures for dialogue, demanding that Washington abandon its "hostile" policies first.

South Korea launches submarine missile test

South Korea also successfully test-fired a ballistic missile — one launched from a submarine.

It means South Korea is one of only seven countries in the world with the advanced technology.

The missile was fired underwater from the newly-commissioned submarine Ahn Chang-ho, and flew the planned distance before hitting its target, the presidential Blue House said.

South Korea has been advancing its military capabilities as it seeks to counter the threat posed by the nuclear-armed North.

It is also seeking to secure the transfer of operational control over its forces in wartime from the US, under the terms of their alliance.

Possessing a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) was "very meaningful in terms of securing deterrence against omnidirectional threats", the Blue House said.

"It is expected to play a major role in self-reliant national defence and the establishment of peace on the Korean Peninsula going forward," it said.

Wires/ABC

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2021-09-15 06:49:30Z
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