japantoday– Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Wednesday strongly condemned North Korea’s launch of two ballistic missiles off its east coast as a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, telling reporters in Tokyo it “threatened the peace and security of Japan and the region” and was “completely inexcusable.”
The missiles did not enter Japanese territory, Japan’s Defense Ministry said. They are also believed to have landed outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone, the country’s coast guard said.
Following the launch, Suga called a meeting of the National Security Council and instructed his government to continue gathering information while ensuring the safety of marine and air traffic.
“North Korea’s recent repeated launches of ballistic missiles and other projectiles are a serious problem for Japan and the international community as a whole,” Japan’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.
On Monday, North Korean state-run media said the country over the weekend tested a new long-range cruise missile capable of hitting almost anywhere in Japan.
North Korea fired the missiles early Wednesday afternoon, the first such launch in nearly six months, Japanese and South Korean authorities said.
North Korea had warned of retaliation after the United States and South Korea went ahead with a joint military exercise in August despite its protest.
Under the resolutions, Pyongyang is forbidden from testing ballistic missile and nuclear technologies, though it occasionally does so in an apparent bid to rattle Washington and its allies as well as lift domestic morale.
North Korea last fired ballistic missiles on March 25 when it tested a new type of tactical guided projectile, the first such launch in a year and also the first since U.S. President Joe Biden took office.