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Iwaya: Projectiles are serious issue

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said Tuesday that North Korea’s firings of projectiles in the early morning is a “serious issue” that requires utmost caution.

North Korea “is trying to develop its missile-related technologies into more sophisticated ones through repeated launches,” Iwaya told reporters at the Defense Ministry.

“Considering this a serious issue, we’ll observe the situation carefully and keep our warning and surveillance system running perfectly,” he continued.

Some ministry officials suspect that the day’s launches were timed to mark the anniversary of the country’s founding Monday.

Iwaya said that the ministry is analyzing the intent behind the launches as well as the type of projectile, flight distance and direction.

The minister and other senior members of the ministry gathered from around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday to collect and analyze data on the launches, which happened around 7 a.m.

At a press conference the same day, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga also spoke of Japan’s response to the launches.

“Nothing that may affect our national security has been confirmed at this time,” Suga said. “We’ll do our best to collect and analyze information in close cooperation with countries like the United States.”

On information exchanges with South Korea, Suga said, “Japan and South Korea are maintaining tight contact over the North Korean situation, including on the string of launches.”

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