OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 3:05 PM – Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Russia’s Defense Ministry reported that Moscow has test-fired anti-ship missiles in the Sea of Japan on Tuesday.
Two Russian boats had launched a missile attack on a mock enemy warship about 60 miles away. The target was reportedly successfully hit by two Moskit cruise missiles.
“In the waters of the Sea of Japan, missile boats of the Pacific Fleet fired Moskit cruise missiles at a mock enemy sea target,” the Russian Defense Ministry said on Telegram early on Tuesday.
The Moskit missile also known by NATO as the SS-N-22 Sunburn, is a supersonic anti-ship missile that also has nuclear capacity. The missile is capable of flying at three times the speed of sound with a range of up to 155 miles.
Moscow said that the exercise took place in the Peter the Great Gulf, however no specific coordinates were provided. The gulf is located on the border with the Russian Pacific Fleet headquarters at Fokino, and about 430 miles from the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. The exercise also included other warships and naval aircraft.
Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihiki Isozaki said that Tokyo will continue to monitor Russia’s military operations in the area. However, Tokyo does not intend to lodge a protest to Russia over the exercise due to the fact that Peter the Great Bay is considered Russian coast and territory.
Japanese Foreign Ministry official in charge of Russia, Tasuku Matsuki, also said that Japan is closely monitoring the situation and Russia’s increased military operations in the area.
“On the whole,” Matsuki said. “Japan is concerned about Russia’s increasing military activities around the Japanese coasts and watching them with great interest.”
Russia had previously conducted missile drills in the area, however, they have always issued maritime warnings and advisories ahead of time.
Last week, two of Russia’s Tu-95 bombers had performed “flights in the airspace over neutral waters in the Sea of Japan.”
The flights took place after Japan’s Kishida visited Kyiv, and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The visit happened at the same time that Chinese President Xi Jinping had visited and met with Russia President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
Reports of the tests and increased military activities by Russia come as Japan, the United States, the Philippines are preparing for high-level ministerial talks on security matters.
The Kyodo news agency reported that the three nations are considering holding their first security meeting in April.