North Korea fires two ballistic missiles – days after testing ‘weapon of great significance’

North Korea has fired two ballistic missiles – just a few days after another test, South Korea has said.

They flew towards the peninsula’s east coast on Wednesday, according to South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga called the launch “outrageous”, but authorities said the missiles landed outside its economic waters.

South Korea and Japan both said they would hold national security council meetings.

Ballistic missiles can be used to carry large nuclear warheads.

The launch comes as China’s foreign minister was in South Korea to discuss nuclear diplomacy in the region, and two days after the North said it had fired a new long-range cruise missile.

On Monday, the country said it had tested a new cruise missile twice over the weekend and called it “a strategic weapon of great significance”.

The missile hit targets 932 miles away and flew different patterns, said state media.

It was North Korea’s first known testing activity since March, when it launched a new short-range tactical missile.

The country also conducted a cruise missile test just after US President Joe Biden took office in January.

And last month, the United Nations said North Korea appeared to have restarted a nuclear reactor, potentially producing plutonium for nuclear weapons.

Talks over North Korea’s nuclear disarmament have floundered since Donald Trump’s second meeting with Kim Jong Un in 2019, when the former US president rejected a request for major sanctions relief.

Kim Jong Un has so far rejected the Biden administration’s moves for dialogue, demanding Washington’s “hostile” policies are dropped first.

Analysis by Tom Cheshire, Asia correspondent

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