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North Korea Fired 2 Ballistic Missiles Amid Tensions With Russia

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North Korea Fired 2 Ballistic Missiles Amid Tensions With Russia

(CTN NEWS) – The latest in an unusual number of missile tests this year, two ballistic missiles were launched by North Korea on Friday toward the ocean off its east coast, according to the South Korean military.

“Only a few days after launching two more missiles and a day after charges that it was supplying weapons to Russian forces in Ukraine, North Korea resumed its destabilising behaviour,” according to its neighbours.

According to the Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea, the missiles were launched from the Sunan region of Pyongyang at around 4:30 p.m. (0730 GMT) and travelled 350 km (217.5 miles) and 250 km, respectively, before exploding.

A possible ballistic missile launch was also reported by the Japanese coast guard.

North Korea Fired 2 Ballistic Missiles Amid Tensions With Russia

This picture taken on January 5, 2022 and released by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on January 6 shows what North Korea says is the Academy of Defence Science of the DPRK test-fired a hypersonic missile on 5 January at an unconfirmed location AFP  file photo

The South Korean military demanded an immediate end to the launches, calling them a “severe provocation that damages peace and stability” on the Korean peninsula and elsewhere.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement, “We will watch and monitor developments with the United States in anticipation of further provocations by North Korea.”

While maintaining a firm readiness posture based on our ability to massively respond to any provocations by North Korea.”

Toshiro Ino, the state minister for the defence of Japan, claimed that Tokyo had sent a stern protest to North Korea via diplomatic channels in Beijing.

Hirokazu Matsuno, the chief cabinet secretary of Japan, criticised the most recent launch as “completely unacceptable.”

Matsuno told reporters that the rapid escalation of provocations by North Korea in a string of measures “threatens the peace and security of Japan’s neighbourhood and the international community.”

The launch, according to the U.S. military, did not immediately represent a threat to American citizens, its territory, or its allies.

But it did demonstrate the “destabilising impact” of Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

North Korea Fired 2 Ballistic Missiles Amid Tensions With Russia

A woman walks past a TV broadcasting a news report on North Korea firing a ballistic missile off its east coast, in Seoul, South Korea, December 18, 2022. REUTERS/ Heo Ran

Five days prior to the launch, the remote nation fired two mid-range missiles in what it deemed an “essential” test for the spy satellite programme it aims to finish by the end of April.

“In order to support Russian forces in Ukraine, the Wagner Group, a private Russian military business, received an initial arms transfer from North Korea on Thursday,” according to the White House.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the owner of Wagner, dismissed the claim as “gossip and speculation.”

The Wagner Group was allegedly supplied with weapons by North Korea, according to Canada, which said the supply “obviously violates international law and United Nations Security Council resolutions.”

A story in the Japanese media about ammunition shipments to Russia was also refuted by Pyongyang’s foreign ministry on Friday, calling it “groundless.”

According to Tokyo Shimbun, additional shipments from North Korea are anticipated in the upcoming weeks. Last month, the country sent artillery shells and other supplies to Russia by rail.

Without mentioning Wagner, the foreign ministry of North Korea claimed that it has never exchanged armaments with Russia and criticised Washington for supplying Ukraine with deadly weapons.

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