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North Korea missile tests were training to attack US bases in Japan: Report

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un waving from a balcony of the Grand People's Study House to participants of a military parade and mass rally on Kim Il-Sung square. Nuclear-armed North Korea launched four ballistic missiles on Monday (March 6). Photograph: (AFP)

AFP Seoul, South Korea Mar 06, 2017, 11.10 PM (IST)

The North Korean missiles that crashed into the Sea of Japan early Monday (March 6) was a training exercise to launch assaults on US bases in Japan.

Pyongyang's official KCNA news agency said North leader Kin Jong-Un himself gave the order for the firing of the projectiles, a development that caused turbulence in East Asia and the United States.

On Monday, South Korea's military and later Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had confirmed that the North test-fired four missiles, three of which crashed into Tokyo's waters that are part of an exclusive economic zone.

North Korea's continuance in their missile-testing policy flies in the face of rigorous sanctions imposed by the United Nations.

Pyongyang is barred by the UN from using any kind of ballistic missile technology.

But nuclear-armed North Korea has launched about five nuclear missiles in the last decade and about 20 ballistic missiles since 2015, according to a report in New York Times.

North's latest act of defiance has vexed South Korea and the US, who have sought an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

Pyongyang had test-fired another missile just days after US President Donald Trump assumed power in Washington, a provocative action that had tested the incoming US administration's mettle.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer later on Monday said North Korea poses a "very serious threat", adding the Trump administration was taking steps to "enhance our ability to defend against North Korea's ballistic missiles".

One of the measures include deployment of a missile defence system called THAAD in South Korea.

Kim Jong-Un has repeatedly spelled his desire of developing an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) that can strike mainland United States.

In his 2017 New Year's address, Kim had said the development of an ICBM was in its "final stages".

But Trump has insisted that the US would not let Pyongyang develop such a projectile.

(WION with inputs from AFP)


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