Iwaya: N.korea Fired Two Ballistic Missiles

Iwaya: N.Korea fired two ballistic missiles

Japan's Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya says North Korea fired two ballistic missiles on Saturday morning. He also says South Korea's notification that it will end an intelligence-sharing pact with Japan did not affect Tokyo's information gathering on the launch.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo, Iwaya said the missiles were launched from the eastern side of the Korean Peninsula at around 6:44 and 7:01 a.m. He said both missiles are believed to have fallen in the Sea of Japan, outside Japan's exclusive economic zone.

Iwaya said North Korea's recent missile launches are a serious challenge to the international community and a clear violation of UN resolutions.

He said Tokyo will gather and analyze available information and continue its surveillance.

The latest launch comes one day after South Korea notified Japan of its decision to end the General Security of Military Information Agreement, or GSOMIA.

Iwaya said North Korea must be closely watching the regional situation and it may have tried to catch others off guard.

Asked whether South Korea's notification has had any impact on Japan's information gathering and analysis for the latest launch, Iwaya said it had not.

He said the pact will be effective until November. He expressed hope that cooperation with South Korea as well as trilateral cooperation with the United States will be sustained. He said he hopes to convey his wish to South Korea.