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North Korea fires ballistic missiles, marking fourth in a week

A picture showing what North Korea claims to be a "new type" of intercontinental ballistic missile in a March 2022 test-firing.(Photo by Reuters)

North Korea has fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast, the fourth such launch in a week as amid political tensions around the Korean peninsula.

The two missiles were launched on Saturday from Sunan, north of Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, with a range of about 350 kilometers (220 miles) by 30 kilometers (20 miles) altitude and a speed of Mach 6, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

The Japanese Coast Guard also announced the suspicious test of at least two ballistic missiles on the eastern coast.

Toshiro Ino, state minister of defense, said that the missiles flew at least with a range of 400 km and 350 km and at a height of 50 km.

Ino added that these missiles are designed in such a way that they are suitable for escaping missile defense.

This came a day after the navies of South Korea, the United States and Japan held anti-submarine exercises for the first time in five years.

The joint military exercise took place after Kamala Harris, the Vice President of the United States, visited the region this week.

In response to the latest missile launch by Pyongyang, the US Indo-Pacific Command said that it is aware of this missile test and the current assessments show that these missile tests are not an immediate threat to the personnel or territory of the United States or its allies.

North Korea fired missiles before and after Harris' visit to South Korea, which experts say indicates an increase in the pace of Pyongyang's weapons tests.

The US, South Korea, Japan and some other allies of Washington consider North Korea's weapons activities as a threat to them and are afraid of Pyongyang becoming a major nuclear power.

Japan's defense ministry said in a report in July that North Korea has designed missiles that can fly in low and irregular trajectories and are likely to be effective in war and military conflicts.

South Korean President Yoon has condemned North Korea's military movements and said that his country is committed to strengthening joint military exercises with the United States.

US President Joe Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump took unprecedented steps towards apparently fraternizing the North by initiating several rounds of dialog with it, and even walking a number of steps into the country alongside Kim.

However, Washington blew, what Pyongyang called, a “golden opportunity” at mending the situation by insisting too much on denuclearization.

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