TOKYO – Japan condemned on Thursday the recent launch of two short-range missiles by North Korea, though it clarified that the projectiles did not enter Japanese waters and did not pose a threat to its security.
Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya described the launch as “regrettable” and said officials were gathering and analyzing information along with Tokyo’s allies – meaning the United States and South Korea – according to public broadcaster NHK.
Iwaya added that the projectiles did not enter Japanese waters and were therefore not seen a direct threat.
He did not reveal any details about the type of missile tested by Pyongyang.
According to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, the two projectiles were short-range missiles.
The first one launched had a trajectory of about 430 kilometers (267 miles) and the second missile went a bit further.
The first missile was launched at 5:34 am local time and the other 23 minutes later from the Hodo peninsula – near the city of Wonsan on the hermit country’s eastern coast – and were directed towards the Sea of Japan, called the East Sea by the two Koreas, a defense ministry spokesperson told EFE.
This is the first missile launch since May. That launch was at the time personally supervised by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and was promptly reported by the regime’s state media, which for the time being has maintained silence on this newest test.
These missile launches came after the North Korean regime recently protested against joint military drills between the US and South scheduled for August.