North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles that fell into the sea near Japan on Thursday (25), Wednesday night in Brazil, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said, a measure that increases pressure on the leadership of the President of the United States, Joe Biden.
South Korean and American officials confirmed the launch of the projectiles without giving further details, but it was the Japanese prime minister who made the official announcement on public broadcaster NHK. “[O lançamento] This poses a threat to peace and stability in Japan and the region and violates UN resolutions, ”Suga said.
North Korean ballistic missiles are banned by the UN Security Council resolution. Its launch represents a new challenge for Biden’s management efforts to approach Pyongyang, which has so far been rejected.
The action is also fueling tensions near the Tokyo Olympics, postponed to July this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Suga said he would guarantee a safe event and seriously discuss North Korea-related issues with the US president when he visits Washington next month.
Previously, South Korea had reported that at least two unidentified projectiles were fired from South Hamgyong Province (North Korea) and fell into the sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, but outside the Japanese exclusive economic zone, according to Suga. Military personnel linked to Tokyo said the missiles flew 450.6 km, reaching a height of 62 miles (nearly 100 km).
South Korean and American intelligence agencies are still analyzing the launch data. The South Korean presidency will convene an emergency meeting of the country’s National Security Council to discuss the shooting.
The Japanese coastguard advised ships not to approach objects that had fallen into the sea and asked them to provide information to the institution.
Thursday’s launch follows the firing of two short-range cruise missiles over the weekend, which Biden had downplayed by saying these tests were routine. US officials said they were still open to dialogue with Pyongyang.
The short-range ballistic missile tests are a step up from the weekend’s activity and allow North Korea to improve its technology, send a proportional response to its southern neighbor’s military exercises and American and to report to Washington an improvement in its arsenal, analysis Vipin Narang, specialist. in nuclear affairs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States.
Narang also says the launches should not torpedo diplomatic efforts, but point to the cost of failing to reach a deal with Pyongyang. “Every day that passes without an agreement that attempts to reduce the risk posed by North Korea’s nuclear and missile arsenal is a day that gets worse and worse.”
Biden has had no response to his diplomatic overtures in North Korea, and Pyongyang has said he will not be involved until Washington abandons hostile policies, including military exercises with South Korea.
The overhaul of US policy towards North Korea is in its final adjustments and, according to US officials, national security advisers to allies of Japan and South Korea will discuss it next week.
North Korea continued to expand its nuclear and missile programs throughout 2020, violating UN sanctions adopted in 2006. Part of the funding for these initiatives is believed to come from hacking flights totaling $ 300 million. dollars (1.7 billion reais), according to the independent UN. sanction monitors.
North Korea has not carried out tests for nuclear weapons or long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles since 2017. In early 2018, Pyongyang announced a moratorium on these exercises, although it says it no longer feels attached to it.
The country has already tested a series of new short-range missiles that could threaten its neighbor to the south and the 28,500 US troops there.