Photo/Illutration North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gives a speech in Pyongyang on March 23. This photo was distributed by the Korean Central News Agency. (Korea News Service)

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga condemned North Korea’s missile launches on March 25, calling the act a threat to the peace and security of Japan and the region.

“Firing a ballistic missile goes against the U.N. Security Council resolution,” Suga told reporters at the prime minister’s office. “We strongly protest and denounce it.”

The ballistic missile launches were North Korea’s first since March 29 last year.

The Japanese government confirmed that Pyongyang fired two ballistic missiles, one at 7:04 a.m. and another at 7:23 a.m., toward the Sea of Japan.

The first one flew 420 kilometers and the second one traveled 430 km, according to the announcement. They likely landed in the sea outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone. 

No damage to aircraft or ships near the area has been reported so far, the Japanese government said.

Suga pledged to work hard to ensure the safety of the public and protect their peaceful lives by closely coordinating with the United States, South Korea and other countries.

The ballistic missile launches were North Korea’s first since U.S. President Joe Biden took office. Pyongyang also fired two short-range cruise missiles on March 21.

The Biden administration is reviewing its policy toward North Korea. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin held “two plus two” security talks with their Japanese and South Korean counterparts this month.

High-ranking security officials of Japan, the United States and South Korea will discuss issues related to North Korea as early as late next week in an apparent move to counter Pyongyang’s latest provocations.