Seoul, South Korea — North Korea The military of South Korea and Japan said that North Korea launched a suspected ballistic missile into its eastern waters on Wednesday. This is the first launch in about two months in the international diplomacy that North Korea’s nuclear program has been put on hold for a long time.
South KoreaThe Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement North Korea On Wednesday morning, a suspected ballistic missile was launched into its eastern waters. It said that South Korean and US intelligence agencies are trying to analyze more information about the launch.
The Ministry of Defense of Japan also discovered North Korea’s launch, saying that the country was likely to have launched a missile.
“We are really sorry, North Korea We have continued to launch missiles since last year,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters.
Kishida said that other details about North Korea’s launch could not be immediately obtained, including where the suspected missile landed and whether there was any damage. He said he has ordered officials to confirm the safety of ships and aircraft in areas where the suspected missile may fly and fall.
Wednesday’s launch was the first such launch since then North Korea A series of newly developed weapons were tested between September and November, including missiles with nuclear capabilities South Korea It is within easy reach of Japan, the main ally of the United States in the region.Some experts say North Korea It is exerting greater pressure on its competitors to accept it as a nuclear power and relax international sanctions on the country.
The Biden administration has repeatedly stated that it is open to resuming nuclear diplomacy North Korea “Anytime, Anywhere”, there are no prerequisites. So far, North Korea has rejected this proposal, saying that the hostility of the United States has not changed.
U.S.-led diplomacy aims to persuade North Korea The plan to abandon its nuclear program collapsed in 2019 because of the debate over how much sanctions relief should be granted to North Korea in exchange for the limited denuclearization step of dismantling its main nuclear facility. gold Since then, he has been threatening to expand his nuclear and missile arsenal.
At the plenary meeting of the ruling Labor Party Central Committee held last week, gold He reiterated his pledge to improve his country’s military capabilities and ordered the production of stronger and more advanced weapon systems.The official media reported on the meeting North Korea Develop a “tactical direction” North KoreaExternal relations, including with South Korea, But did not elaborate. It does not mention the United States.
last month, gold Marked 10 years in power.Since taking over after his father and longtime ruler gold Jeongil passed away in December 2011, gold Bell one Established absolute power in the country and strengthened his Nuclear arsenal and missile arsenal.but his Affected by the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the national economy has been hit hard, United Nations Sanctions and mismanagement, although few experts question his Take power.
• Associated Press writer Yuri Kageyama in Tokyo contributed to this report.
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