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North Korea fires ballistic missile towards Japan

North Korea fired an unidentified ballistic missile after Pyongyang threatened to shoot down US spy planes in North Korean airspace, the South Korean military said today.

The South Korean Interweapon General Staff indicated that “North Korea fired an unidentified ballistic missile towards the East Sea”, the name given by the two Koreas to the Sea of Japan.

The Ministry of Defense of Japan also registered the new firing of an apparent North Korean ballistic missile, the first of its kind since June 15, indicating that it is gathering data to assess whether it presents any type of risk to its territory.

On Monday, Kim Yo-jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, warned the United States that Pyongyang would respond with “clear and forceful actions” to what he described as “air spying” operations.

The regime’s deputy director of propaganda stressed that Washington’s actions are “clearly a serious violation of North Korean sovereignty and security”.

Kim Yo-jong stated that “a strategic reconnaissance aircraft of the US Air Force again performed aerial reconnaissance of the eastern part of the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the official name of North Korea] as it entered the skies of the Special Economic Zone (ZEE) above the Military Demarcation Line (MDL),” according to a statement carried by state news agency KCNA.

The device “performed a serious military provocation by carrying out aerial reconnaissance” over North Korean EEZ waters, reaching up to 400 kilometers off the country’s southeastern coast, she added.

After the failure of the 2019 denuclearization talks, tensions have risen again on the Korean peninsula.

Pyongyang rejected any dialogue initiatives and carried out a record number of missile tests, while Seoul and Washington resumed large joint military maneuvers and regularly deployed US strategic assets in the region.

*With Lusa

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