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North Korea fired two ballistic missiles, it says was

2021-03-25T01:19:33.582Z

North Korea launched two ballistic missiles on Thursday, according to an intelligence assessment, a senior US official told CNN.



This was Antony Blinken's first trip to Asia 2:05

(CNN) -

North Korea launched two ballistic missiles on Thursday, according to an intelligence assessment, a senior US official told CNN.

It is not yet known whether the missiles were short, medium or long range, such as an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

The US military and intelligence community is still analyzing data from the test launch to determine what type of missile was fired and how far it went.

The United States tracks all North Korean weapons tests via radars and satellites, which can detect the heat traces of a missile launch almost immediately.

  • North Korea conducts first weapons test under Biden's presidency

Hours earlier, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff told reporters that North Korea had launched unidentified projectiles into the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan.

"The South Korean military has stepped up its vigilance and remained prepared in close cooperation with the United States," the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

According to the Japanese Defense Ministry, it is likely that the projectile landed outside of Japanese territory and its exclusive economic zone.

Japan's Coast Guard has warned ships to watch out for falling debris.

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The second test in less than a week

Last weekend, North Korea conducted its first weapons test since US President Joe Biden took office, according to three US officials, launching two projectiles in a move that senior administration officials they downplayed them as being "at the lower end of the spectrum" of provocations.

Officials and experts had anticipated that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would try to send a message to the Biden administration about the country's importance in the region.

In that test, a US official told CNN that North Korea had launched short-range projectiles, possibly artillery or cruise missiles, not ballistic missiles, a key distinction that underscored the Biden administration's view that it was not about a serious infraction and will not prevent the US from pursuing diplomacy with Pyongyang.

But in a statement to the Senate Armed Forces Committee on March 16, US Air Force General Glen VanHerck warned that the North Korean regime could go further.

Pyongyang has "indicated that it is no longer bound by the unilateral moratorium on nuclear and ICBM tests announced in 2018, suggesting that Kim Jong Un could begin flight testing an improved ICBM design in the near future." , He said.

'When we practice attacking them, they practice bombarding us'

Launching a ballistic missile is a violation of UN Security Council resolutions, and "that will make things a bit more difficult for Biden's people," said Jeffrey Lewis, a professor at the Institute for International Studies in Biden. Middlebury, which specializes in open source intelligence.

Lewis, who previously said the weekend's short-range launches would have been "two" out of 10, told CNN Wednesday night that the new ballistic launches would have been "more than two."

But the launch was not entirely unexpected, days after the US Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense visited the region and following a joint US-South Korean military exercise.

“When we practice attacking them, they practice bombarding us.

That's just yin and yang, ”Lewis said.

Although it is unclear if exactly what type of ballistic missile was launched, Lewis said it seemed unlikely that it would be the most powerful long-range missile.

“In the case of long-range missiles, they tended to be picked up when they went up and stayed in the air for 10 to 20 minutes.

With ICMBs, we found out about the launch before they went down, and that's a good indicator, "he said.

"This time, they went up and down."

With information from CNN's Jake Kwon and Junko Ogura.

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2021-03-25

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