North Korea launches ballistic missiles into Sea of Japan, neighboring nations say


North Korea fired multiple ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan, according to neighboring countries.

Japan reported the launch Thursday evening local time and these reports were later corroborated by South Korean military officials.

“North Korea fired an unidentified ballistic missile into the East Sea,” the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Thursday evening. Officials later stated it appeared to be at least two projectiles.

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FILE - People watch a TV showing a file image of North Korea's missile launch during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, May 7, 2022. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

People watch a TV showing a file image of North Korea’s missile launch during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, earlier this year. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

The missiles’ launch follows days of collaborative military drills by South Korean and Japanese forces near the demilitarized zone separating the Koreas. The exercises were run with live-fire ammunition, according to reports.

The North Korean Ministry of National Defense responded to the drills by saying it “strongly denounces the provocative and irresponsible moves of the puppet military authorities escalating the military tension in the region despite repeated warnings, and warns them solemnly.”

It has become increasingly common in recent years for Pyongyang to fire test missiles into the surrounding sea in retaliation to military exercises near its territory.

NORTH KOREA MISSILE LAUNCH THAT PUT SOUTH KOREA, JAPAN ON HIGH ALERT ENDS IN FAILURE

Kim Jong Un in North Korea

FILE: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends the 7th enlarged plenary meeting of the 8th Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) in Pyongyang, North Korea in this photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).  (KCNA via REUTERS)

These mutual provocations have deteriorated relationships in East Asia even further.

Japan extended a standing order to shoot down any North Korean projectile within the island nation’s territory on Sunday.

The Japanese Defense Ministry made the decision after Pyongyang’s previously announced window for test launching satellites ended.

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The satellite rocket launched from North Korea in May put neighboring South Korea and Japan on high alert before ultimately ending in failure. 

North Korea

This satellite picture by Planet Labs PBC shows the Sohae Satellite Launching Station near Tongchang-ri, North Korea. (Planet Labs PBC via AP)

State media reported that the rocket carrying the satellite crashed into waters off the Korean Peninsula’s western coast after it lost thrust following the separation of its first and second stages. 

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Pyongyang said scientists were examining the cause of the failure.



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