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An alarmed Japan, South Korea report Pyongyang’s second ballistic missile launch into East Sea

North Korea has been testing various kinds of missiles this year (Photo: IANS)

The Japanese coast guard has said that North Korea seems to have fired a ballistic missile on Tuesday, the second one in less than a week. The communist country had admitted to firing a "hypersonic missile" last week on Wednesday.

Japanese news agency Kyodo said that the second missile landed in the sea outside Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), but caused no damage to ships or aircraft, according to the government.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned the spate of missile launches by the communist neighbour, saying, "It is extremely regrettable that the country has repeatedly carried out missile launches."

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told journalists at a news conference that the missile is believed to have traveled less than 700 kms.

Kishida has instructed ministers to monitor North Korea's military activities and asked officials to collect information on the launch while ensuring the safety of planes and vessels in and around Japan.

Meanwhile, South Korea's Yonhap news agency too reported the launch of an "unidentified projectile", quoting the South Korean military.

South Korea's National Security Council held an emergency meeting and expressed "deep regret" over the latest firing.

The two missile launches follow North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's exhortations to the forces to make more military advances. He has vowed to counter an unstable international situation amid stalled talks with South Korea and the US.

The launches have happened at a time when the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) was holding closed-door discussion over North Korea's missile launches.

Over the past few months, the remote and secretive country has test-fired a number of missiles from trainheads to submarine based missiles, leading to an arms race in the Korean peninsula.

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