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North Korea launches ballistic missiles into Sea of Japan


MARCH 24, 2021

North Korea has launched a pair of missiles for the second time in a week.

The launches were confirmed to ABC News by a United States official and South Korean joint chiefs of staff. The U.S. official said two ballistic missiles were fired into the Sea of Japan.

“North Korea this morning fired two unidentified projectiles into the East Sea from South Hamkyung Province,” the South Korea government said in a statement. “South Korea and US intelligence are analyzing for any additional information.”

“While our military has strengthened awareness and monitoring, ROK-US [officials] are closely working together and maintaining readiness,” it added.

In this photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, attends a ceremony to break ground for building 10,000 homes, in Pyongyang, North Korea, Tuesday, March 23, 2021. – Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP

It’s not clear exactly what type of ballistic missiles were launched or the distances they traveled.

North Korea also fired two short-range missiles sometime Saturday and Sunday, though the launches were not reported by the U.S. until Tuesday.

Biden administration officials downplayed the missile launches from over the weekend.

“We see this action in the category of normal activity,” a senior administration official told reporters.

TV screens show news broadcasts at the Yongsan electronics market in Seoul, March 24, 2021. – Jeon Heon-Kyun/EPA via Shutterstock

The launches over the weekend were the first since President Joe Biden moved into the White House. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited South Korea last week to discuss the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

The previous administration had a fraught relationship with North Korea. Former President Donald Trump held multiple meetings with dictator Kim Jong Un during his time in office, the first president to do so.

Kim has not carried out any long-range missile tests since Trump met with him in 2018, though it did restart smaller missile tests under the Trump administration.

Courtesy/Source: ABC News