16:33 GMT19 October 2020
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    Another ballistic missile launch carried out by Pyongyang has increased the probability of a military conflict in the region, Victor Ozerov, the chairman of the Russian upper house of parliament’s committee on defense and security, told Sputnik Saturday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — North Korea is believed to have launched a KN-17 intermediate ballistic missile in the early hours of Saturday from a site north of Pyongyang. Japan, South Korea and the United States said the test appeared to have failed after the missile broke up within North Korean territory.

    "Obviously, every such launch is not a step to relieve tension, on the contrary, it only strengthens it, increases the danger of a military conflict, taking into account the presence of US warships in the Sea of Japan," the senator said.

    Japanese Defense Ministry sources told a local broadcaster following the reported missile launch that the strike group of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier has navigated the Tsushima Strait and entered the Sea of Japan. The fleet will be reportedly stationed off the Korean peninsula, in a show of force directed at North Korea.

    Ozerov added that Russia's air defense in the Far East region has been put on high alert amid the missile launch carried out by North Korea, Russia controls the airspace over the country.

    "Russia closely follows the developments in North Korea. The air defense of the Russian Federation in the Far East has been put on high alert. We control the airspace in the zone of responsibility of the Russian air forces," the senator said.

    He also said that Russia, realizing that it is not targeted by Pyongyang's missile launches, "will do everything to prevent accidental missiles from landing on the territory of Russia in the case of an extraordinary situation."

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    missile launch, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), United States, Far East, Russia
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