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According to South Korea’s military, North Korea has fired two projectiles into the Sea of Japan.

The projectiles appeared to be short-range ballistic missiles.

They were launched early on March 21 from Pyongan province towards the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan.

North Korea launched multiple missiles as part of firing drills earlier this month. The US and China have called on North Korea to return to talks on ending its nuclear and missile programs.

On March 21, South Korea’s Joint Chief of Staff said it was monitoring the situation in case there are additional launches.

It described the actions as “extremely inappropriate” at a time when the world was dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The projectiles flew for 255 miles with a maximum altitude of around 30 miles, the South Korean military said.

Japan’s coast guard confirmed a missile had landed outside the waters of its exclusive economic zone.

It comes as North Korea announced it would be holding a session of the Supreme People’s Assembly, the country’s parliament, on April 19. Analysts say the meeting will involve almost 700 of North Korea’s leaders in one spot.

There have been no reported cases of coronavirus in North Korea, though some experts have cast doubt on this.

North Korea borders China, where the virus emerged, and South Korea, where there has been a major outbreak.

A top US military official said last week he was “fairly certain” there were infections in North Korea.

However, North Korea quarantined around 380 foreigners – mostly diplomats and staff in Pyongyang – in their compounds for at least 30 days. The restrictions were lifted at the beginning of March. Around 80 foreigners, mainly diplomats, were flown out of Pyongyang on March 9.


A medium-range ballistic missile has been test-fired by North Korea from its eastern port of Sinpo into the Sea of Japan.

According to South Korea’s defense ministry, the missile flew about 40 miles.

It is the latest in a series of tests which North Korea says is peaceful but is widely believed to be part of a program to develop nuclear weapons.

The launch comes on the eve of a visit by China’s President Xi Jinping to the US to meet President Donald Trump.

The two will discuss how to rein in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

North Korea is banned from any missile or nuclear tests by the UN, though has repeatedly broken those sanctions.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson described the launch as “yet another” intermediate range ballistic missile, adding: “The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment.”

The US military’s Pacific Command said it appeared to have been a KN-15 medium-range ballistic missile.

“The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America,” it said.

Japan called the launch “provocative”, while South Korea condemned it as “a blunt challenge” to the UN and “a threat to the peace and safety of the international community as well as the Korean peninsula”.

Last month, North Korea fired four ballistic missiles towards the Sea of Japan from the Tongchang-ri region, near the border with China.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called it a “new stage of threat”.

Last week, the US Treasury slapped sanctions on 11 North Korean business representatives and one company.

On April 4, US politicians overwhelmingly backed a bill relisting North Korea as a state sponsor of terror.

North Korea responded by warning that it will retaliate if the international community steps up sanctions, saying the US was forcing the situation “to the brink of war”.

President Trump warned in a recent interview that the US is willing to tackle North Korea alone if China does not help rein its troublesome neighbor in.

China has long been North Korea’s closest diplomatic ally and trading partner, but the relationship has become increasingly strained over Pyongyang’s refusal to halt nuclear and missile testing.



FourNorth Korean ballistic missiles have been fired towards the Sea of Japan, South Korea military says.

Three of the missiles fell into Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) after flying some 600 miles in what Japanese PM Shinzo Abe called a “new stage of threat”.

They were fired from the Tongchang-ri region, near North Korea’s border with China, the South Korean military said.

The type of missile is unclear but North Korea is banned from any missile or nuclear tests by the United Nations.

According to a South Korean military official, the launch had taken place at 07:36 local time on March 6 and was being investigated to determine the type of projectile used.

The US military said later it had detected and tracked a launch but had determined that it did not pose a threat to North America.

Photo KCNA

State Department acting spokesperson Mark Toner said in a statement: “The United States strongly condemns the DPRK’s ballistic missile launches tonight, which violate UN Security Council Resolutions explicitly prohibiting North Korea’s launches using ballistic missile technology.”

On March 3, Pyongyang threatened to fire missiles in response to the Foal Eagle military exercises under way between South Korea and the US. North Korea sees the annual drills as preparation for an invasion against it.

Today’s launches were just the latest in a long series of tests of North Korean missile technology, which experts say is likely to be improving with successive tests.

North Korea has repeatedly said its space program is peaceful but it is believed to be developing an intercontinental ballistic missile that could strike the US.

However, most believe North Korea is still some time away from being able to miniaturize nuclear warheads so they could fit on to a missile.

Last month Pyongyang said it had successfully test-fired a new kind of ballistic missile in a launch supervised by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The first test-firing since Donald Trump became president, it was condemned by the UN, the US, South Korea and Japan.

Recent activity in the Tongchang-ri region, home to the Sohae Satellite Launching Station, has been a cause for concern for Japanese officials.

According to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, screens have been set up in key areas, probably to deter satellite surveillance.

On March 5, South Korea said it would quadruple the reward it pays defectors from North Korea who share information that will help enhance security to $860,000.