North Korean test fires at least one ballistic missile at sea

North Korean test fires at least one ballistic missile at sea

North Korea has fired at least one ballistic missile at the sea off its east coast, South Korea and Japan said.
An unidentified ballistic missile was launched at around 10:17 a.m. (01:17 GMT) on Tuesday from around Sinpo, South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

North Korea has an underwater base as well as equipment for test firing of submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) ​​in the region and has already launched other types of missiles from of the.

“Our military is closely monitoring the situation and maintains a readiness position in close cooperation with the United States, to prepare for possible additional launches,” JCS said in a statement. The presidential office said it would convene a meeting of its National Security Council to discuss the launch.

In Japan, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said two ballistic missiles had been detected, Reuters news agency reported. Kishida called the recent round of northern missile testing “regrettable”.

Officials from the United States and South Korea have tried to encourage North Korea to resume stalled negotiations over its banned weapons and nuclear programs.

“We will seek diplomacy with the DPRK to make tangible progress that increases the security of the United States and our allies,” Sung Kim, the United States’ special representative to North Korea, said in a statement to the from interviews with his South Korean counterpart in Washington. On Monday. The intelligence chiefs of the United States, South Korea and Japan are due to meet in Seoul on Tuesday to discuss the situation in North Korea, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.

Negotiations to dismantle the North’s banned nuclear program have stalled since February 2019, when a summit in Vietnam between then-US President Donald Trump and North Leader Kim Jong Un collapsed . A subsequent meeting between the two men in the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas made no progress.

US Special Representative for North Korean Politics Sung Kim (left) speaks to reporters as his South Korean counterpart Noh Kyu-duk (center) looks on outside the State Department in Washington, DC on Monday. US, South Korea try to bring North back to denuclearization talks [Mandel Ngan/AFP]

Since then, Pyongyang has stepped up weapons testing – a move Kim has declared necessary for his country’s “self-defense” – showing new developments in missile technology and stepping up activities at its Yongbyon nuclear complex. .

The country held a series of weapons tests last month that included what it called a hypersonic missile, although last week it considered a resumption of diplomacy if Seoul abandoned what it called ” double standards ”.

It is prohibited from conducting ballistic missile tests under United Nations sanctions.

“North Korea is trying to force the world to accept its violations of UN Security Council resolutions as if they were normal acts of self-defense,” said Leif-Eric Easley, professor at the United Nations. ‘Seoul Ewha University, in an email response to the launch. “This is part of the Kim regime’s efforts to gain de facto international recognition as a nuclear power and to receive concessions just to reconnect. “

South Korea has also stepped up its military modernization, with Seoul testing its first SLBM last month, developing new military equipment such as aircraft carriers and improving its air capabilities with US-made F-35 stealth fighters. It is planning its first space launch later this week.

(Al Jazeera)

Despite the build-up of weapons and the flurry of tests, the two Koreas earlier this month re-established a communications hotline just over two months after Pyongyang suddenly stopped responding to calls from Seoul.

The move was an attempt to establish “lasting peace” on the peninsula, Kim said at the time, as quoted by the official KCNA news agency.

North Korea is also grappling with the effect of prolonged border closures imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which have exacerbated the effect of international sanctions.

On the 76th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Korean Workers’ Party last weekend, Kim called on officials to do more to improve the lives of the country’s citizens given the “grim” economic situation.

The country marked the anniversary with artistic performances, galas and fireworks, but did not host large military parades.


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