PM Yoshihide Suga confirmed the development and voiced protest over the North Korean actions
North Korea launched two ballistic missiles into the sea near Japan, the Japanese Prime Minister said on Thursday. “To protect the life and property of the people, we are directing all our efforts to collect and analyse information and are vigilantly monitoring [the situation],” the Japanese government said in a statement.
Earlier today, the Japanese military said that the missiles had fallen outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga confirmed the development and voiced protest over the North Korean actions.
“It’s been a year since they last launched a missile… This threatens the peace and security of our country and the region. It is also a violation of the UN resolution,” Suga told reporters.
South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff said that “unidentified projectiles” were launched by North Korea into the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea in Korea.
Two missiles were fired on March 21
North Korea is banned from developing ballistic missiles under UN Security Council resolutions. Two missiles were fired from North Korea on March 21. They were not ballistic.
The US had downplayed the launches and said that it did not violate any UN resolutions. “According to the Defense Department, it’s business as usual,” US President Joe Biden had told reporters.
While former US president Donald Trump had held two summits with Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s Supreme Leader, the Biden administration in re-calibrating its approach towards North Korea. According to an AFP report, the Biden administration ‘hopes to restart negotiations on the North’s nuclear arsenal’, however, there has been no response from the North.
“US officials are now finalising a strategy to restart talks that the White House will discuss with Japanese and South Korean security officials next week,” an administration official said.