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North and South Korea both conduct missile tests within hours of each other

North Korea South Korea Tensions
Posted at 11:44 PM, Sep 14, 2021

Both North and South Korea tested ballistic missiles within hours of each other on Wednesday as the rival countries showed off military prowess while international talks aimed at stripping the North's nuclear program have stalled.

On Wednesday afternoon, North Korea has fired two ballistic missiles into waters off its eastern coast, two days after claiming to have tested a newly developed missile in its first such weapons displays in six months.

Japan's coast guard says they landed outside Japan's exclusive economic zone between Japan and the Korean Peninsula.

Seoul said South Korean and U.S. intelligence authorities are analyzing more details about the launches. They came as Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is in Seoul for meetings with South Korean leaders.

Experts say North Korea's launches are a show of force in an attempt to apply pressure on the U.S. in the hopes of winning relief from economic sanctions that were applied in response to the country's nuclear program.

It's unusual for North Korea to make provocative launches when China, its last major ally and biggest aid provider, is engaged in major diplomatic events.

Hours later, The Associated Press reports that South Korea's presidential office announced it had conducted its first underwater ballistic missile test. The weapon was launched from a submarine and reached its target.

Experts believe the South Korean launch was approved by South Korean President Moon Jae-in's administration in response to criticism that the South has been too soft on the North in recent months.