North Korea fires ICBM, 2 other missiles after Biden's Asia trip

Baku, May 25, AZERTAC

North Korea fired three missiles, including one capable of intercontinental range, off its east coast on Wednesday, according to the South Korean government, a day after U.S. President Joe Biden ended his first Asia trip since taking office, Kyodo News Agency reports.

The first projectile, presumed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile, flying about 360 kilometers with a maximum altitude of around 540 km, was launched at around 6 a.m., followed by two others at 6:37 a.m. and 6:42 a.m. from Pyongyang's Sunan area, according to the military.

The third, flying about 760 km, reaching as high as 60 km, was believed to be a short-range ballistic missile, using solid fuel that would require less preparation time, while the second disappeared from radar after reaching an altitude of about 20 km and was thought to have failed in midair, it said.

Japan's Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi and other officials in Tokyo said the missiles apparently landed outside the country's exclusive economic zone, and there were no reports of damage to ships or aircraft.

The latest launches, which came after talks between Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and a summit of the so-called Quad leaders also involving Australia and India, were "clear provocations," Kishi said, adding Japan cannot tolerate North Korea's efforts to advance its missile-related technology.

"North Korea's recent actions, including its ballistic missile launches, threaten the peace, stability and safety of Japan and the international community and are not acceptable," Kishi told reporters. Tokyo lodged a protest with North Korea via the Japanese Embassy in Beijing.

North Korea has conducted 15 rounds of ballistic missile tests since the beginning of this year, of which at least five were ICBMs.

The number of ballistic missile tests has already matched the record marked in 2016.

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