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North Korea Test Fires Multiple Short-Range Missiles

North Korea Test Fires Multiple Short-Range Missiles

The test comes less than two weeks after the country's last one

North Korea has fired eight short-range ballistic missiles, South Korea's military has said. 

The 35-minute test, which comes less than two weeks after the country’s last one, saw the missiles being launched from areas including Sunan, near to the capital of Pyongyang. 

Japan's defence minister Nobuo Kishi has said the latest test ‘cannot be tolerated’. 

It’s unclear how far the missiles travelled, but during a briefing Kishi said at least one of them had a variable trajectory, meaning it would potentially be able to evade missile defences. 

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

In the wake of the most recent test, South Korea says it has heightened its monitoring of North Korea in case more missiles are launched. 

Officials in the US and South Korea believe the country could be building up towards a nuclear test explosion - the first since 2017. They also say there are signs North Korea is also pressing ahead with preparations at its nuclear testing ground in the north-eastern town of Punggye-ri.

The launch was North Korea’s 18th round of missile tests in 2022 alone — a streak that has included the country’s first demonstrations of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in nearly five years. 

On Friday, US President Joe Biden’s special envoy for North Korea, Sung Kim, said Washington is ‘preparing for all contingencies’ in close co-ordination with its Asian allies as he participated in a trilateral meeting in Seoul with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts over the nuclear standoff with North Korea.

A test launch from earlier this year.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Jong-un had sent a message to the Queen on 2 June ahead of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations. 

Reuters reported that the message read: "I extend my congratulations to you and your people on the occasion of the National Day of your country, the official birthday of Your Majesty."

A spokesperson for the Palace said: "The private message from Kim Jong Un to Her Majesty The Queen to mark her Platinum Jubilee is in line with standard practice of receiving messages from countries with whom we have diplomatic relations.”

It’s not the first communication between the pair as last year, the Queen sent Jong-un a message to mark North Korea’s National Day, which commemorates the country’s liberation from 35 years of colonial rule by Japan.

The Queen’s message read: "As the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea celebrate their National Day, I send my good wishes for the future."

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Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: World News