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Tokyo, Moscow concerned over North Korea missile launches — official

June 22, 15:03 UTC+3 TOKYO
Japan's ambassador stresses North Korea's ballistic missile launches violate the UN Security Council resolution
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© AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

TOKYO, June 22. /TASS/. Japan and Russia are concerned over the actions of North Korea, which has carried out two new ballistic missile launches, Chikahito Harada, the Japanese government representative and ambassador in charge of Japan-Russia relations, told a news conference in the country’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday after bilateral consultations with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov.

"We touched upon the issue of North Korea’s missile launches. We are concerned over these actions, as they violate the UN Security Council resolution", he said.

According to Harada, as Wednesday's talks were held just several hours after North Korea's launch of two ballistic missiles, the two sides also shared concerns about Pyongyang's actions and agreed to coordinate closely at the UN Security Council to increase international pressure on the reclusive state, the Kyodo news agency reported.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea or DPRK) has launched two medium-range ballistic missiles from the area of the city of Wonsan on the country’s east coast, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff reported on Wednesday.

"North Korea launched what appeared to be two Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs) from its east coast early Wednesday morning, but the first test-firing is assumed to have been unsuccessful, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said," the Yonhap news agency reported.

"At around 5:58 am, North Korea fired off what is presumed to be a Musudan missile from near Wonsan along the east coast, but the launch seems to have ended in failure," the JCS said, providing no further details. "About two hours later at 8:05 am, the North launched another missile presumed to be the same type of IRBM from the same area," the JCS noted. The second missile flew some 400 km and fell into the Sea of Japan. Both missiles were fired from mobile launchers.

According to South Korean media reports, both launches were unsuccessful. In April this year, North Korea carried out four unsuccessful launches of missiles of this type. The Musudan missile has a flight range of up to 3,000 km. This weapon type was demonstrated for the first time at a military parade in Pyongyang in 2010.

The situation on the Korean Peninsula situation deteriorated after North Korea carried out a nuclear test on January 6 and on February 7 launched a carrier rocket carrying an artificial Earth satellite in violation of the UN Security Council resolution.

The UN Security Council, in turn, unanimously adopted a resolution on imposition of tougher sanctions on the DPRK. Pyongyang does not recognize the resolution, referring to the fact that the launch was carried out for purposes of peaceful space exploration and nuclear tests.

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