North Korea has launched a “ballistic missile” at sea, South Korean military said Tuesday, less than a week after Pyongyang announced it was testing a hypersonic missile.
The start of the morning came as the UN Security Council met in New York to discuss last week’s experiments on what Pyongyang called hypersonic missiles.
“Our troops realized that the bomber struck shortly after noon in front of the North Korean Sea at about 7:27 this morning,” the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul said in a statement.
The settlement was also announced by Japanese coast guards, who said the North had fired “something similar to cannons”.
On Monday, six countries, including the United States and Japan, urged North Korea to stop “disrupting” the UN Security Council summit.
France, Britain, Ireland and Albania also joined North Korea’s call for “stop disrupting other activities … and hold meaningful talks to achieve our goal of denuclearization.”
Investigators said Pyongyang may have set a time soon to coincide with the UN summit.
“The initiation is politically motivated and militant,” Shin Beom-chul, a researcher at the Korea Research Institute for National Strategy, told AFP.
“North Korea continues to try to destroy its nuclear weapons, but has set a date for the UNSC summit to increase its political power,” he said.
A number of tests indicate that Pyongyang may be eligible for the launch of the Beijing Olympics next month, says Park Won-gon, a professor at Ewha Womans University in Seoul.
North Korea has been banned from participating in the Winter Olympics in Beijing after skipping the Tokyo Games delayed by the Covid-19 plague.
– War planning –
In the ten years since Kim Jong Un took power, North Korea has seen rapid progress in its military strategy at the expense of international sanctions.
Despite the economic crisis during the coronavirus crisis, Kim said last month the country would continue to develop its own weapons.
In 2021, North Korea with nuclear weapons reportedly successfully tested a new type of flying missile, long-range missile, submarine-powered weapon, and what it described as a hypersonic warhead.
The latest attempt comes as North Korea refuses to respond to a US request to negotiate with Pyongyang.
At the North Korean ruling party last month, President Kim Jong Un vowed to continue strengthening the country’s security, not to mention the United States.
Negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have not yet taken place, following the end of talks between Kim and President Donald Trump in 2019.
Under Trump’s successor Joe Biden, the United States has repeatedly said it wants to meet with North Korean ambassadors, stating that it intends to end nuclear weapons.
But Pyongyang has so far rejected its offer, criticizing Washington for pursuing “hateful” policies.
bur-sh / ceb / reb