North Korea Reportedly Fired Several Ballistic Missiles into Sea Near Japan
North Korea fired four ballistic missiles into the sea off Japan’s northwest early on Monday, South Korean and Japanese officials said, days after it promised retaliation over U.S.-South Korea military drills it sees as a preparation for war.
The missiles flew on average 1,000 km (620 miles) and reached a height of 260 km (160 miles).
Some of the missiles landed in waters as close as 300 km (190 miles) from Japan’s northwest coast, Japan’s Defence Minister Tomomi Inada said in Tokyo.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said “strong protests” had been lodged with nuclear-armed North Korea.
“The launches are clearly in violation of (United Nations) Security Council resolutions. It is an extremely dangerous action,” Abe told parliament.
South Korea’s acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn condemned the launches as a direct challenge to the international community and said Seoul would swiftly deploy a U.S. anti-missile defense system despite angry objections from China.
The missiles were launched from the Tongchang-ri region near the reclusive North’s border with China, South Korean military spokesman Roh Jae-cheon told a briefing. It was too early to say what the relatively low altitude indicated about the types of missiles, he said.