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Saturday, December 3, 2022

North Korea Fires New Ballistic Missiles, Japan Says

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North Korea launched two ballistic missiles towards its eastern waters early on Sunday, the Japanese Defense Ministry announced.

The launches, which came after the US moved an aircraft carrier to South Korea, mark Pyongyang’s seventh round of test firings in two weeks.

The ministry said that the two projectiles were fired eastwards from North Korea, reached an altitude of approximately 100km (60 miles), and traveled around 350km (217 miles) before splashing down in the Sea of Japan.

Neither projectile landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone, the ministry added.

The South Korean joint chiefs of staff also noted the launches, adding that Seoul had boosted its surveillance posture in response.

Pyongyang has stepped up its missile testing in recent weeks, launching six ballistic missiles since late September, including one on Tuesday that crossed over Japan.

South Korea’s military also reported that a dozen North Korean aircraft took part in bombing drills near its border on Thursday.

The DPRK insists that such tests are a justified response to “direct military threats” from the US.

The US redeployed an aircraft carrier strike group off the South Korean coast on Wednesday, weeks after it made its first visit to South Korea in several years.

The decision to redeploy the USS Ronald Reagan was made in light of “successive North Korean provocations and threats,” Seoul’s military said.

The US and South Korea believe that Pyongyang is currently gearing up to conduct its first nuclear test since 2017.

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