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N. Korea conducts 2nd missile launch in 2 days as US carrier redeploys off Korean Peninsula

North Korea missile launch
File photo

North Korea has carried out another ballistic missile test, launching two short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) toward the East Sea, where a US Navy aircraft carrier was redeployed following North Korea’s previous launch.

According to South Korean officials, the missiles were launched from Pyongyang’s Samsok area and flew for 350 and 800 kilometers, respectively.

Japan’s defense ministry has provided a graphic of the launches, which show the approximate trajectories of the missiles and where they fell.

The Thursday launches follow North Korea’s first launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) over Japan since 2017. In all, North Korea has carried out a total of six ballistic missile tests in just two weeks, continuing this year’s high tempo of ballistic missile launches.

“We are aware of the two ballistic missile launches and are consulting closely with our allies and partners. While we have assessed that this event does not pose an immediate threat to US personnel or territory, or to our allies, the missile launch highlights the destabilizing impact of the DPRK’s unlawful WMD and ballistic missile programs,” the US Indo Pacific Command said in a statement.

In response to Tuesday’s launch, the US and South Korea conducted a joint missile firing drill over the past two days, while aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan returned to waters of the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan.

The aircraft carrier and its carrier strike group are poised to carry out another trilateral exercise on October 6.