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North Korea fires possible ballistic missile


A television monitor at Seoul’s railway station shows a news broadcast featuring file footage from North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un. It was shown on January 20, 2022. Japan’s coastguard said that North Korea could have launched a ballistic missile.

Jung Yeon-je | AFP | Getty Images

Japan’s coast guard stated that North Korea launched what may be a missile ballistic, in its first test since January, when the country was launching a record-breaking number of rockets.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff reported also that North Korea had launched at least one unidentified projectile eastward. However, they did not elaborate.

Sunday’s launch occurred less than 2 weeks prior to a key presidential election held in South Korea on February 9, amid concerns that North Korea could continue with missile production while the international spotlight is on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Yoon Suk Yool (the leading conservative candidate), warned that North Korea might see the Ukraine crisis “a chance to launch its own provocations.”

North Korea conducted its last test on January 30, firing a Hwasong-12 ballistic missile with intermediate range. It was the most powerful weapon since 2017. This was the culmination of a month that saw mainly short-range missile launches.

North Korea suggested that it might resume the testing of its long-range missiles and nuclear weapons in spite of having stopped talks on denuclearization with the United States.