North Korea fires 2 suspected short-range ballistic missiles in test

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North Korea on Monday launched two suspected short-range ballistic missiles into the ocean off its east coast, according to reports. 

The South Korean military said it was studying the flight data, the New York Times reported. The launch—which would be the fourth and fifth ones this month– took place near an airport just outside Pyongyang, the paper said. 

“The repeated launching of North Korea’s ballistic missiles is a grave problem for the international community, including Japan,” Nobuo Kishi, the Japanese defense minister, told Reuters. 

People watch a TV screen showing a news program reporting about North Korea's missile launch with a file footage at a train station in Seoul. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

People watch a TV screen showing a news program reporting about North Korea’s missile launch with a file footage at a train station in Seoul. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Mason Richey, a professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, told Reuters that the recent tests and varying launch locations indicates that the country has “enough missiles to feel comfortable expending them on tests.”

NORTH KOREA MISSILE TEST PROMPTS CONCERN, CAUTION FROM US OFFICIALS

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said the missiles did not pose an immediate threat to U.S. personnel or territory, or to its allies, but highlighted the destabilizing impact of the North’s “illicit” weapons program.

A man watches a TV screen showing a news program reporting about North Korea's missile launch with a file image, at a train station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

A man watches a TV screen showing a news program reporting about North Korea’s missile launch with a file image, at a train station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
(AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

North Korea had conducted a pair of flight tests of a purported hypersonic missile on Jan. 5 and Jan. 11 and also test-fired ballistic missiles from a train Friday in an apparent reprisal over fresh sanctions imposed by the Biden administration last week for its continuing test launches.

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The Biden administration says the U.S. remains deeply involved with allies South Korea and Japan on appropriate responses to the weapons tests. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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