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North Korea Launches Two Ballistic Rockets Towards Japan's Cost

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North Korea Launches Two Ballistic Rockets Towards Japan's Cost

North Korea has been criticised after it fired two ballistic missiles off the east coast of the country this week.

The display of military might comes two days after the country tested a new missile in what was its first weapons test in half a year.

In a statement, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the two missiles were launched from a site in the centre of North Korea and headed towards the waters off the Korean Peninsula's east coast on Wednesday (15 September) afternoon, as per CNBC.

It also confirmed that the South Korean and US intelligence authorities were both investigating the launches.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Japan's coast guard said the objects had landed outside the Japanese Exclusive Economic Zone in the sea between Japan and the Korean Peninsula.

Speaking about the incident, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga criticised Pyongyang, saying: "The firings threaten the peace and safety of Japan and the region and are absolutely outrageous.

"The government of Japan is determined to further step up our vigilance and surveillance to be prepared for any contingencies."

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It's thought that the launch is an attempt by North Korea to add pressure to the Biden administration over the diplomatic freeze after the country's leader Kim Jong-un failed to strike a deal with former President Donald Trump.

North Korea ended a year-long pause in ballistic tests back in March this year, firing two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea.

This continues a long tradition of testing new US administrations with weapons demonstrations aimed at measuring Washington's response in the hope of gaining some concessions.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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On Monday (13 September) North Korea confirmed it had tested a new cruise missile twice over the weekend.

According to the state's media outlet, the missile is a "strategic weapon of great significance".

Talks between the US and North Korea have not advanced in the past two years, with the US rejecting the North's demand for major sanctions relief in exchange for dismantling a nuclear facility back in 2019.

This latest display of the country's weapons capability comes after an expert expressed their shock at Jong-un's slimmer appearance during a recent military parade.

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Thousands of people looked on as paramilitary and public security forces from the Worker-Peasant Red Guards marched through Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung square last week.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

During the event to mark the country's 73rd anniversary, a much thinner Jong-un was seen hugging children and waving to the crowds below.

Speaking about the event and the North Korean leader's new look, Martyn Williams from the think tank the 38 North Project, said: "It's striking how much healthier Kim Jong-un is looking in these photos from yesterday.

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"However he is doing it - and there are theories - he looks a lot better than he did a few months ago."

So shocking was his new look, that North Korean officials reportedly warned citizens to refrain from publicly discussing national leader Jong-un's health after he appeared to have lost weight in recent months.

Sources claimed that such gossip was viewed as a 'reactionary act'.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: military, World News, kim jong-un, Japan, Politics, North Korea

Dominic Smithers
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