North Korea carries out sixth missile launch in two weeks

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By Euronews  with AFP
North Korea launches its sixth missile in two weeks in response to US and South Korea military drills in region
North Korea launches its sixth missile in two weeks in response to US and South Korea military drills in region   -   Copyright  أ ب

North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles in Japan's direction on Thursday.

They were launched 22 minutes apart and landed in the sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. 

It is the sixth missile launch by North Korea in under two weeks, in response to joint US and South Korean military drills in the region.

It comes two days after North Korea fired an intermediate-range missile over Japan for the first time in five years.

This missile launch on Thursday occurred as Pyongyang condemned the US for meeting with the UN Security Council to discuss North Korea's recent missile launches, which it justifies as a counteractive measure.

In a statement before the latest launch, North Korea's foreign ministry condemned the exercises for "escalating the military tensions on the Korean Peninsula".

There were calls for an emergency UN Security Council meeting after Tuesday's launch, which experts said could have reached the US territory of Guam and beyond.

"We call on all UN member states, especially council members, to join us in condemning this reckless behaviour and in urging the DPRK to abandon in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner its unlawful weapons programs and engage in diplomacy toward denuclearisation," said Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US Ambassador to the United Nations.

But the meeting did not end with an agreement. 

The United States accused China and Russia of enabling North Korea by blocking attempts to strengthen sanctions on Pyongyang.