Tokyo confirms North Korean missile crash in Japan’s economic zone

A ballistic missile launched by North Korea towards the Sea of ​​Japan fell in the exclusive economic zone of Japan. This was announced on Saturday, February 18, by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

“North Korea launched a ballistic missile that fell inside the exclusive economic zone west of Hokkaido,” said Kishida, quoted by the agency. Kyodo.

He instructed officials to promptly provide the necessary information to the public, ensure the safety of aircraft and ships in the area, and prepare for unforeseen circumstances.

Earlier in the day, the Yonhap news agency, citing the South Korean military, reported that the DPRK had launched a ballistic missile towards the Sea of ​​Japan.

A day earlier, on February 16, the DPRK Foreign Ministry promised to respond to the expansion of US and South Korean military exercises. Washington and Seoul’s plans to hold some 20 joint large-scale military exercises over the course of 2023 demonstrate that the situation on the Korean Peninsula could plunge into a “maelstrom of serious tensions,” according to the agency.

The day before, the UN announced a closed meeting of the Security Council on the problem of North Korea.

At the same time, Konstantin Asmolov, a leading researcher at the Center for Korean Studies at the Institute of China and Modern Asia of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said in a conversation with Izvestia that at the moment North and South Korea have begun to “quite actively” follow the path of militarization. In his opinion, both sides believe that they have the right to take protective measures against each other, which, however, leads only to a vicious circle.

Earlier, on January 31, the heads of the defense departments of the United States and South Korea issued a joint statement in which they agreed to expand the scope of joint exercises in 2023.

Prior to this, on January 1, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered the development of a new intercontinental ballistic missile and mass production of tactical nuclear weapons to protect the sovereignty and security of North Korea.

On December 31, Pyongyang launched three missiles towards the Sea of ​​Japan, they flew about 350 km, after which they fell into the sea. Japan, through diplomatic channels in Beijing, protested to Pyongyang in connection with the missile launches. In total, in 2022, the DPRK launched 70 ballistic missiles, which was a record for the development of these weapons by the country.

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