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25 Mar 2021 | 09:28

North Korea test launches missile ahead of Olympics

(Sharecast News) - North Korea launched two suspected ballistic missiles into the sea near Japan on Thursday in a test launch.

The tests fueled tensions between Japan, the US and North Korea as they were carried out ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

"The first launch in just less than a year represents a threat to peace and stability in Japan and the region and violates UN resolutions," Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said.

North Korea is banned from developing ballistic missiles under UN Security Council resolutions and is under international sanctions over its weapons programs.

Suga said he would ensure a safe and secure Olympics and discuss the launches with Biden during his visit to Washington next month.

It was the first test that had been carried out by North Korea in nearly a year and the first during the administration of US President Joe Biden. North Korea had not tested a nuclear weapon or an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) since 2017.

According to Reuters, analysts said the latest missile tests did not mean denuclearisation diplomacy was dead but rather that Pyongyang's weapons arsenal is advancing every day and poses a threat.

The Biden administration is currently reviewing its policy on North Korea and is expected to draw hard lines on human rights, denuclearisation and sanctions.
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