South Korea and Japan recorded several launches of ballistic missiles from the DPRK. They all fell into the water. Tokyo, in this regard, requested an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.
The Yonhap news agency, citing the South Korean military, reported the launch of one missile on February 20 towards the Sea of Japan. The flight characteristics are currently being analyzed. The launch was also announced by the Japanese Ministry of Defense. According to the agency, the launch of two missiles was recorded. The flight altitude of the first was 100 km, the range – 400 km, the second – 50 and 350 km, respectively. They fell outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
North Korea has confirmed conducting exercises using multiple launch rocket systems. According to the KCNA report, an artillery unit of the Korean People’s Army fired two shots from a 600-mm multiple launch rocket system towards the Sea of Japan.
Kim Ye Jong, deputy head of a department of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea and sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, said that North Korea will continue to launch missiles into the Pacific Ocean if US troops do not stop their activity on the Korean Peninsula. The day before, on February 19, South Korea and Japan conducted joint exercises with the United States against the backdrop of the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile by the DPRK.
“The frequency of using the Pacific Ocean as our firing range depends on the US,” Kim Ye Chen said in a statement released by the KCNA.
According to her, Pyongyang observes that the movement of American strategic strike weapons has recently become more active on the Korean Peninsula.
“We are carefully studying the impact that this will have on the security of our state. We will take appropriate action if this is regarded as any direct or indirect threat,” she said.
UN Secretary General António Guterres condemned the launch of two missiles by North Korea and called on Pyongyang to refrain from provocative steps.
The protest in connection with the launch of missiles was expressed to Pyongyang by Tokyo. The Japanese authorities have already turned to the UN Security Council to hold an emergency meeting on this topic.
“Following the launch of an intercontinental-class missile the day before yesterday, now is the launch of ballistic missiles, so we requested an extraordinary meeting of the UN Security Council. It is necessary to continue collecting information, remain vigilant and deepen cooperation with the United States and South Korea,” said Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
In response to the launch of North Korean missiles, additional sanctions against the DPRK were imposed by South Korea. According to the South Korean Foreign Ministry, the restrictions will affect four individuals and five institutions involved in secret programs to develop nuclear weapons and missiles, as well as helping Pyongyang evade sanctions.
The blacklist includes former economic and commercial adviser to the North Korean embassy in Mongolia, Lee Song Eun, and Vladlen Amchentsev, who allegedly helped the DPRK illegally buy oil. Among the entities facing sanctions are Songwon Shipping & Management, Korea Daizin Trading Corp. and Transatlantic Partners.
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