South Korea’s military said on Sunday that North Korea conducted its 12th missile test of the year, launching a pair of short-range projectiles off its east coast.
The military said both the missiles were fired from Hamhang, a town on the north-east coast, at 6 pm on Saturday. He flew 68 miles, it said.
Earlier on Sunday, North Korean state media said the country’s leader Kim Jong-un was monitoring the launch of a “new type of tactical guided weapon”, with no date or location given for the test. It said the test would help the North improve its “efficiency in the conduct of strategic nuclear.”
Although the missiles seemed significantly less powerful than other missiles the North has recently tested, Saturday’s launch came at a moment of relatively high tension.
Friday was an important state holiday in North Korea, and the United States sent an aircraft carrier to the region a few days ago amid concerns that Mr Kim could mark the occasion with a major weapons test, perhaps A nuclear device is also included.
North Korea’s first ICBM firing since 2017
On March 24, North Korea launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile since 2017, marking the end of a self-imposed moratorium.
Also, the United States and South Korea are set to begin annual joint military exercises from Monday. The exercise largely involves computer simulations and is said to be defensive in nature. But North Korea has denounced the two allies’ joint exercises as a rehearsal for the invasion and has often responded with weapons tests.
Former President Donald J. During Trump’s administration, when the US leader and Mr. Kim were engaged in direct talks, the United States and South Korea began canceling or curtailing some of their joint military exercises in hopes of spurring diplomatic efforts. but Elected President of South Korea, Yoon Suk-yoloHe, who takes office next month, has vowed to expand the exercises and says they are needed to help deter North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile threats.
It was not immediately clear what type of missile the North had tested on Saturday. In the past, it has used the language “new-type guided tactical weapon” to refer to short-range ballistic missiles known as? KN-23 either KN-24, They are among a variety of missiles North Korea has been testing since 2019 to improve its ability to fire short-range conventional or nuclear warheads at US military bases in South Korea, Japan and the region.
In photos released by North Korean state media on Sunday, the missile, said to have been fired on Saturday, resembled a KN-23.
The launch came days after the US aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln reached the sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. No specific reason was given for the deployment, but the carrier group was sent there amid concerns that Mr Kim might order a nuclear or intercontinental ballistic missile test around Friday – North Korea’s founding leader Kim Il-sung 110th anniversary of the birth of Mr. Kim’s grandfather.
Significance of North Korea’s Missile Tests
Instead, North Korea’s biggest holiday was celebrated with large rallies, fireworks and cultural displays, but without weapons tests or military parades.
Analysts have warned that more weapons tests are set to come. North Korea has done unusually high number of missile tests this year. Most recently, on 24 March, belonged to Most Powerful Intercontinental Ballistic Missile It has launched yet, ending a year-long, self-imposed moratorium on such tests.
Mr. Kim has vowed to double his nuclear and missile development programs from 2019, when his direct engagement with Mr. Trump will lead to no agreement on withdrawing his nuclear weapons program or lifting international sanctions imposed on the North in response. Happened. ,