09:27 GMT24 February 2020
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    Japan has reaffirmed its commitment to strengthening cooperation with the United States and South Korea following North Korea's most recent missile launches, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Tuesday.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — On Monday, the Japanese Defense Ministry confirmed that the North Korean authorities had fired three ballistic missiles from Hwangju county in the direction of the Sea of Japan. Later, media reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had visited a missile launch test and emphasized the necessity to boost the country's nuclear force.

    "The ongoing development of North Korea's nuclear and missile programs… is a clear violation of the UN Security Council resolutions. This is absolutely unacceptable. We intend to continue to cooperate closely with the United States and South Korea and call on the DPRK to refrain from provocative actions and to strictly observe UN resolutions," Suga told a press conference.

    He pledged to react to the missile launches through diplomatic channels as well, and to "do everything to protect the safety of our citizens."

    Pyongyang has been under pressure from the international community since its nuclear test in January, which was followed by a long-range rocket launch in February. These resulted in the UN Security Council resolving to tighten sanctions against North Korea in March.

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    Tags:
    Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), ballistic missile launches, threat, Japanese Defense Ministry, Japan
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