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North Korea fires ballistic missiles into the East Sea in latest test

North Korea fired a ballistic missile into the sea on Tuesday in a continuation of its recent weapons tests, the South Korean and Japanese militaries said.

The South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said one missile was launched from the port of Sinpo, in the east of North Korea where Pyongyang usually bases its submarines. It landed in the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan. It didn’t immediately say what kind of ballistic missile it was or how far it flew.

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said there were two ballistic missiles, calling the launches “very regrettable”. Japan’s coast guard issued a maritime safety advisory to ships.

President Joe Biden’s special envoy for North Korea, Sung Kim, is scheduled to hold talks in Seoul over the prospects of reviving talks with North Korea.

Nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have stalled for more than two years over disagreements in crippling US-led sanctions against North Korea and the North’s denuclearization steps.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has vowed to strengthen his nuclear deterrent since his diplomatic fallout with then-President Donald Trump.

His government has so far rejected the Biden administration’s offers to restart dialogue without preconditions, saying that Washington must first abandon its “hostile policy,” a term the North mainly uses to refer to sanctions and military exercises with the South.

Last week, Kim Jong Un reviewed powerful missiles designed to launch nuclear strikes on US mainland during a military exhibition.

Over the past few months North Korea has tested various weapons including a new cruise missile that could potentially carry nuclear warheads, a rail-launched ballistic system, a developmental hypersonic missile and a new anti-aircraft missile.

The North in recent weeks has also restored communication lines with the South and said it could take further steps to improve bilateral relations if Seoul abandons the United States.