A Japanese official reported that the missiles traveled 400 km (250 miles) and at a maximum altitude of 50 km (30 miles).
North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles from the Pyongyang region towards the country’s east coast, according to South Korean and Japanese officials, marking Pyongyang’s fourth missile test launch in a week.
Japanese national television NHK said several missiles were fired from North Korea on Saturday morning and reportedly landed in the Sea of Japan, albeit outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
“What appears to be a ballistic missile was launched from North Korea,” the Japanese Coast Guard said in a statement released at 6:47 a.m. (2147 GMT) on Saturday.
In a second statement released about 15 minutes later, the Coast Guard said another apparent ballistic missile had been launched.
NHK said the projectiles appeared to have fallen outside of Japan’s exclusive economic zones, citing government sources.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s office tweeted that the latest missile launch was being analyzed and instructions were being issued for the safety of people, planes and ships.
▼ Prime Minister’s Instructions in Response to North Korea’s Missile Launch (06:47)https://t.co/5mdyBVeuYz
— Office of the Prime Minister of Japan (@JPN_PMO) September 30, 2022
North Korea fired short-range ballistic missiles into the sea on Wednesday and Thursday in the hours leading up to and following a visit by US Vice President Kamala Harris to South Korea during which she stressed commitment “to ironclad” of the United States for the security of its Asian allies. .
The latest launch also comes after the navies of South Korea, the United States and Japan held trilateral anti-submarine drills on Friday for the first time in five years.
Japanese Deputy Defense Minister Toshiro Ino said North Korea’s repeated missile strikes were “increasing provocations”.
“North Korea’s actions threaten the peace and security of not only Japan but also the region and the international community, and are absolutely unacceptable,” Ino said, calling the four launches in one week “unprecedented.” “.
The missiles reached a maximum altitude of 50 km (30 miles) and flew up to 400 km (250 miles) before landing in the Sea of Japan in areas outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone, a declared Ino.
The missiles may have been on an “irregular” trajectory, making tracking more difficult.
North Korea has conducted a record number of weapons tests this year and analysts see the increased pace of testing as an effort to boost its ballistic weapons capability, as well as to take advantage of a distracted world by the Ukrainian conflict and other crises.
Nuclear testing and ballistic missile launches by North Korea have long been banned by the United Nations Security Council.
“Despite North Korea’s internal weaknesses and international isolation, it is rapidly modernizing its weapons and profiting from a world divided by US-China rivalry and Russia’s annexation of more Ukrainian territory. “said Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul.
A South Korean lawmaker said Wednesday that the North has completed preparations for a nuclear test, and a window for such a test could open between China’s party congress in October and the US midterm elections. in November.