North Korea fired two suspected short-range ballistic missiles Wednesday in a launch that came ahead of an expected summit between leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
(Bloomberg) — North Korea fired two suspected short-range ballistic missiles Wednesday in a launch that came ahead of an expected summit between leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The missiles were fired from an area near Pyongyang’s main international airport at about 11:43 a.m. and 11:53 a.m. toward waters off North Korea’s east coast, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a text message to reporters. Japan’s public broadcaster NHK said there was no indication that any projectile fell within the country’s exclusive economic zone, citing an unidentified defense ministry official.
Kim is expected to hold talks with Putin as soon as Wednesday that could focus on weapons deals after the two leaders visited areas of Russia’s east. For months the US has accused North Korea of supplying munitions to help Putin’s war in Ukraine, something Moscow and Pyongyang have denied.
Read: Kim And Putin Set for Summit Likely Focused on Arms Deals
Before the latest launch, Pyongyang had already fired 26 ballistic missiles and two space rockets so far this year. They included four intercontinental ballistic missiles that could hit the US mainland. Kim’s regime launched more than 70 ballistic missiles last year, a record for the state.
–With assistance from Shinhye Kang, Brian Fowler and Ryotaro Nakamaru.
(Updates with details on launch)
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