North Korea launches 3 test missiles as Biden leaves Asia

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North Korea reportedly launched three test missiles into the sea on Wednesday local time, according to South Korea.

The alleged missile tests took place just hours after US President Joe Biden left Asia, where he reaffirmed his commitment to defending US allies against the nuclear threat from North Korea. The North would have launched an intercontinental ballistic missile and two shorter-range weapons.

BIDEN AND SOUTH KOREA TO COORDINATE RESPONSE TO NORTH KOREA’S NUCLEAR THREAT

This photo distributed by the North Korean government shows what it says is a test firing of a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), at an undisclosed location in North Korea on March 24, 2022.
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This photo distributed by the North Korean government shows what it says is a test firing of a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), at an undisclosed location in North Korea on March 24, 2022.
(Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

The tests would be the first ICBM launch from the North in about two months as nuclear diplomacy talks with the United States have stalled. North Korea said in March it had tested its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile to date, in violation of a 2018 UN resolution on long-range launches.

The tests were North Korea’s seventeenth round of missile launches this year and the first since May 12.

North Korea’s launch of the ICBM in March marked the first such launch since 2017.

South Korea said following an emergency National Security Council meeting that North Korea fired a suspected ICBM and two short-range ballistic missiles on Wednesday.

“North Korea’s sustained provocations can only result in stronger and faster combined South Korea-U.S. deterrence and can only deepen North Korea’s international isolation,” the government said. South Korean in a statement. “[Our] The government constantly stands ready to respond forcefully and effectively to any type of North Korean provocation. »

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the US and South Korean military launched two surface-to-surface missiles in response to North Korea’s tests to show off their strike capabilities. The statement said the two allies detected North Korea’s launch plans in advance.

NO ONE WANTS TO SEE NORTH KOREAN MISSILE TEST WITH BIDEN ABROAD: BREMMER

In this photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a meeting of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang, North Korea, February 28, 2022.

In this photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a meeting of the Workers’ Party of Korea in Pyongyang, North Korea, February 28, 2022.
(Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

Biden has been briefed on the situation and will continue to be briefed as more information becomes available. The White House said US national security adviser Jake Sullivan and South Korean national security adviser Kim Sung-han spoke on the phone and both condemned North Korea’s launches.

“They both condemned [North Korea’s] destabilizing ballistic missile tests and pledged to continue to rely on their close coordination. Mr. Sullivan also reaffirmed the unwavering commitment of the United States to the defense of [South Korea]”, the White House said in a statement.

Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi called the launches “an act of provocation and absolutely unacceptable”.

US, South Korean and Japanese officials have warned that North Korea may also soon launch its first nuclear test in nearly five years.

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In this June 29 file photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a Politburo meeting of the ruling Workers' Party in Pyongyang, North Korea.

In this June 29 file photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a Politburo meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party in Pyongyang, North Korea.
(AP/Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service)

Biden and the South Korean president said after their summit in Seoul on Saturday they would consider expanded military practices in an effort to deter nuclear threats from North Korea.

Asked during his trip about possible provocations from the North, Biden said: “We are ready for anything North Korea does.”

Biden will later meet Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo. They both promised to work to address security challenges. These obstacles include North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and China’s “increasingly coercive” behavior.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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