North Korea fired off artillery shells in the third test this year

North Korea detonated two locomotive missiles, state media reported on Saturday, the third test of weapons in the country this month despite the United States receiving new sanctions.

South Korean troops say they noticed the launch of two short-range weapons on Friday afternoon, just hours after Pyongyang criticized the United States for “encouraging” new sanctions.

The test was conducted to “monitor and evaluate the progress of the railway team,” said Pyongyang’s KCNA news agency.

North Korea tested missile launchers for the first time in September 2021.

Friday’s launch “demonstrated good driving and hitting,” KCNA said.

“Issues were discussed to establish appropriate rail systems across the country,” the report added.

Seoul officials at the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Friday’s start flew 430 miles (270 miles) over 36 miles.

It was Pyongyang’s third trial of weapons this month, following what he called two successful tests of hypersonic ammunition on January 5 and January 11.

In response, the United States imposed new sanctions on Pyongyang this week, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying North Korea should “try to pay attention” with artillery fire.

Negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have not been settled, and impoverished North Korea is also under the constant protection of the coronavirus that has disrupted its economy.

At a North Korean ruling party last month, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to continue strengthening the country’s security.

In response to recent sanctions, Pyongyang accused Washington of “deliberately exaggerating” the situation, calling it a “legal right” to defend itself, a Foreign Ministry spokesman told state media.

cdl / ceb / mtp

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