Published On: Wed, Oct 2nd, 2019

North Korea news: Kim sparks major conflict fear as its missile lands in Japanese waters | World | News

Tokyo attacked North Korea’s launch by claiming the country had breached UN resolution rules. Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, claimed that one of the rockets had landed in water off Chimane prefecture. He also revealed that the two missiles were fired within in minutes of each other.

Mr Suga claimed that the first of the rockets landed at 7.27am local time (10.27pm GMT).

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said the launch came from around Wonsan, in southeast Gangwon.

North Korea’s launch comes one day after North Korea confirmed it would hold working-level talks the US this weekend.

It was the ninth launch by North Korea since leader Kim Jong un met US President Donald Trump in June at the Demilitarised Zone between North and South Korea.

The talks, it is hoped, will break months of stalemate over nuclear discussions.

They are aimed at breaking down North Korea’s nuclear and missile programme.

The talks have stalled since Trump and Kim met in Vietnam in February.

Those talks ended without a deal.

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Trump played down North Korea’s series of short-range launches, saying in September the US and North Korea “didn’t have an agreement on short-range missiles” and that many countries test such weapons.

Lee Sung-yoon, Professor of Korean Studies at The Fletcher School at Tufts University said: “North Korea has recycled its carrot-and-stick strategy against the US multiple times with great success.”

It comes as Japan warned China’s growing military might has become a bigger threat to national security than North Korea despite signs Kim Jong-un has armed his forces with nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles.

Tokyo has raised defence spending by a tenth over the past seven years to counter military advances by Beijing and Pyongyang, including defences against North Korean missiles which may carry nuclear warheads.

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North Korea has conducted a series of short-range missile launches that Tokyo believes show Pyongyang is developing projectiles to evade its Aegis ballistic missile defences.

China has frequently rebuffed concerns about its military spending and intentions, including a ramped-up presence in the disputed South China Sea, and insists it only desires peaceful development.

The Defence White Paper said Chinese patrols in waters and skies near Japanese territory are “a national security concern”.

Last month, North Korea said its nuclear programme could gain more freedom after Trump sacked his security advisor John Bolton.

Trump and Kim were due to resume talks in September as the US looked to usher North Korea into denuclearisation.

But the US President’s dismissal of Bolton raised concerns regarding this objective.

The 70-year-old had been one of Washington’s sterner communicators on North Korea having previously called for preemptive strikes and tough measures on the denuclearisation process.

In his absence, observers believe the Trump administration’s tough stance on the rogue state may soften – opening the door to the regime revisiting its nuclear programme.

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