Defiant North Korea test-fires missiles Again Amidst US led Sanctions

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North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un watching one of the Missile launch; File

The suspected short-range ballistic missile tests are the seventh weapons launch in a month

North Korea fired two suspected short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast on Saturday in the seventh weapons launch in a month, South Korea’s military said, a day after the North vowed to remain the United States’s biggest threat in protest against US-led sanctions on the country.

North Korea had been expected to halt weapons tests because the 10-day US-South Korean drills, which it views as an invasion rehearsal, ended earlier this week.

Saturday’s launches were made from northeastern South Hamgyong province, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said. They flew about 380 kilometres (236 miles) at the maximum altitude of 97 kilometres (60 miles), the military said.

The Japanese government said the suspected missiles caused no damage and did not land in its territorial waters.

Saturday’s launches came two days after South Korea said it would terminate a military intelligence-sharing deal with Japan amid bitter trade and history disputes between the US allies. The decision drew criticism that it would end up weakening South Korea’s defense and reconnaissance capability at a time when North Korea’s nuclear threats remain intact.

The US, which wants stronger trilateral security cooperation with Seoul and Tokyo, expressed disappointment at the South Korean decision.

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