North Korea fires suspected missile into sea after Kim Jong-un vows to boost military

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un supervising a ‘strike drill’ in 2020 (KCNA VIA KNS/AFP via Getty Image)
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un supervising a ‘strike drill’ in 2020 (KCNA VIA KNS/AFP via Getty Image)

North Korea fired a suspected missile into its eastern waters on Wednesday, the South Korean and Japanese militaries said – the first such launch in roughly two months.

The latest launch came after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un vowed to further boost his military capability at a ruling party conference last week.

South Korea‘s Joint Chiefs of Staff said North Korea fired the projectile toward its eastern waters on Wednesday morning. It gave no further details.

The Japanese Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that North Korea fired what was likely a missile. The ministry also did not disclose details.

Japan’s coast guard, which first reported the launch, said it could be a ballistic missile but did not provide further details.

“Since last year, North Korea has repeatedly launched missiles, which is very regrettable,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters.

In state media summaries of a speech Kim gave ahead of the New Year, the North Korean leader did not specifically mention missiles or nuclear weapons, but said that national defence must be bolstered.

Additional reporting by agencies

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