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Reports: North Korea launches two ballistic missiles into Sea of Japan

Reports: North Korea launches two ballistic missiles into Sea of Japan
The governments of South Korea and Japan reported on Wednesday that North Korea fired two ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan in its second missile test in less than a week. Photo by KCNA/UPI | License Photo

March 24 (UPI) -- North Korea launched a pair of ballistic missiles on Wednesday in its second test in a week.

The missiles were fired into the Sea of Japan, but no other details about the launch were given, according to reports by CNBC, ABC News and CNN citing officials from the United States, Japan and South Korea.

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"North Korea this morning fired two unidentified projectiles into the East Sea from South Hamgyong Province," the South Korean government said in a statement to ABC News, early Thursday local time. "South Korea and U.S. intelligence are analyzing for any additional information."

The South Korean government added that its military has "strengthened awareness and monitoring" of North Korea's activity.

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Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga condemned the launch in a statement to reporters in Tokyo.

"We strictly and strongly protest this launch," he said, according to CNBC.

Capt. Mike Kafka, spokesman for the United States Indo-Pacific Comand said the United States was aware of the missile launch and would continue to monitor the situation while "consulting closely" with allies and partners.

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"This activity highlights the threat that North Korea's illicit weapons program poses to its neighbors and the international community," he said. "The U.S. commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea and Japan remains ironclad."

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Over the weekend, North Korea launched two projectiles in its first weapons test since U.S. President Joe Biden took office. However, the administration described them as "on the low end of the spectrum" of provocations.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has launched more than 100 missiles since 2011 in addition to conducting four nuclear weapons tests.

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A top North Korean official said last week that Pyongyang would not rejoin denuclearization talks, accusing the United States of hostility.

"We have already declared our stand that no DPRK-U.S. contact and dialogue of any kind can be possible unless the U.S. rolls back its hostile policy towards the DPRK," First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choe Son Hui said, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

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