North Korea has fired two ballistic missiles into the ocean of Japan, says the US and Japan – the first such test since Joe Biden became US president.
Pyongyang is banned from testing ballistic missiles, considered threatening weapons, under UN Security Council resolutions.
Both Japan and South Korea have condemned the test.
It comes just days after North Korea reportedly fired two non-ballistic missiles into the Yellow Sea.
Japanese officials said North Korea fired the two missiles after 07:00 local time on Thursday (20:00 GMT Wednesday). The missiles flew 420km and 430km respectively before landing in waters outside of Japan’s sole economic zone. There was no damage imposed to ships or airplanes.
Japan said no debris had fallen within its regional water.
The US Pacific Command, which oversees military forces within the Asia-Pacific region, said on Thursday that the test highlighted “the threat that North Korea’s illicit weapons program poses to its neighbors and the international community”.
On Tuesday, he played down a non-ballistic missile launch that happened over the weekend, saying the US didn’t consider it a provocation. Those short-range missiles were thought to be either artillery or cruise missiles, which are not banned under the UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea.
Thursday’s test also comes days after the US received its first North Korean in custody after Mun Chol Myung was extradited from Malaysia. Mr. Mun may be a businessman accused of laundering money through the US economic system to supply luxury items to North Korea.
The incident angered North Korea much a lot it stops diplomatic ties with Malaysia.