North Korea launches 2 suspected ballistic missiles

North Korea on Thursday launched two unspecified short-range ballistic missiles from an area north of the capital Pyongyang, News.Az reports citing South Korean and Japanese.

Citing the South Korean military, Seoul-based Yonhap News reported that the latest launch, conducted from the Sunan area, might have been in protest to a recent series of large South Korea-US live-fire drills that ended this week.

Earlier in the day, a spokesperson for North Korea's Defense Ministry issued a statement denouncing what it called the "provocative and irresponsible" drills.

Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said it detected the launch but did not elaborate further.

Japan's Defense Ministry said the missiles that reached a maximum altitude of approximately 50 kilometers (31 miles) fell within the country's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), the Tokyo-based Kyodo news agency reported.

The first one traveled about 850 kilometers (528 miles), while the second flew around 900 kilometers (559 miles).

The latest launch is not linked to a satellite launch attempt that North Korea had notified Japan of late last month, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said at a press conference.

North Korea last conducted a missile launch on April 13.


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