IslamNews – North Korea on Thursday test-fired its first ballistic missiles since President Joe Biden took office as it expands its military capabilities and increases pressure on Washington while nuclear negotiations remain stalled.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said North Korea’s resumption of ballistic testing threatens “peace and safety in Japan and the region,” and that Tokyo will closely co-ordinate with Washington and Seoul on the North’s military activities.
South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong, after meeting his Russian counterpart in Seoul, expressed “deep concern” and urged the North to uphold its commitments for peace. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called for a swift resumption of dialogue to resolve the standoff with North Korea.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the two short-range missiles were fired at 7:06 a.m. and 7:25 a.m. on the North’s eastern coast and flew 450 kilometres (279 miles) on an apogee of 60 kilometres (37 miles) before landing in the sea.
“This activity highlights the threat that North Korea’s illicit weapons program poses to its neighbours and the international community,” said U.S. Indo-Pacific Command spokesperson Capt. Mike Kafka.
The launches came a day after U.S. and South Korean officials said the North fired short-range weapons presumed to be cruise missiles into its western sea over the weekend.
North Korea has a history of testing new U.S. administrations with missile launches and other provocations aimed at forcing the Americans back to the negotiating table.