North Korea launches fourth missile test in two weeks

Japan condemned the recent launches and said they threatened peace and security in the region

Arpan Rai
Monday 17 January 2022 17:40
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<p>The SRBMs fired by North Korea travelled about 380 kilometres (236 miles) to its peak altitude of 42km, South Korean JCS said in a statement</p>

The SRBMs fired by North Korea travelled about 380 kilometres (236 miles) to its peak altitude of 42km, South Korean JCS said in a statement

North Korea has launched two suspected short-range ballistic missiles from its capital Pyongyang, according to South Korea’s military.

This is the fourth missile test by North Korea in under three  weeks as it continued flexing its artillery strength by firing missiles.

Monday’s missile test included two missiles which were fired from Pyongyang’s Sunan Airfield to the east, said South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, adding that both travelled about 380km (236 miles) to a peak altitude of 42km.

North Korea last used the airport in 2017 to test fire the Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile.

Neighbouring country Japan also confirmed the launch, calling it a threat to peace and security in the region.

Japanese defence minister Nobuo Kishi said that the missiles appear to have landed in the ocean off North Korea’s east coast.

It is evident that North Korea is improving its missile technology, Mr Kishi said, underlining that the tests were in clear violation of the UN Security Council resolutions banning North Korea from all ballistic missile development.

“The repeated launching of North Korea’s ballistic missiles is a grave problem for the international community, including Japan,” the minister said.

China has asked all sides in southeast Asia to preserve stability.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said: “We call on relevant sides to keep in mind the overall peace and stability on the peninsula.”

This comes within three days of North Korea’s test of a railway-borne missile in firing drills from train cars, which travelled about 430km. The other two were single “hypersonic missiles” of high speed, capable of manoeuvring after being launched.

North Korea has fast-tracked its uninhibited display of missile power after last year it fired technologically high-end missiles, which included long-range strategic cruise missile, two ballistic missile tests and a mini submarine-launched ballistic missile.

They were followed by two hypersonic ballistic missiles tests this month with gliding warheads.

The tension between North Korea and the US remains heightened as Pyongyang’s foreign ministry slammed Washington for imposing new sanctions over the previous missile tests last week.

The North has warned US president Joe Biden’s administration of stronger and more explicit actions if Washington keeps up with its “confrontational stance”.

Mr Biden called on the UNSC to blacklist several North Korean individuals and entities, asking North Korea to return to the table for a dialogue to reduce tensions.

The US is also pushing North Korea to surrender its artillery of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

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