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N.Korea resumes missile tests with first launch in a month -Breaking


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: The North Korean flag flaunts in front of concertinawire at Kuala Lumpur’s North Korean Embassy, Malaysia. March 9, 2017, Malaysia. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

Josh Smith

SEOUL (Reuters.) -North Korea launched what might be a ballistic weapon on Sunday. Officials in South Korea, Japan and South Korea said it was the first time the missile had been fired since North Korea’s January record breaking number of launches.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said that North Korea has fired a ballistic weapon towards its East Coast from near Sunan. That’s where Pyongyang is located.

It has hosted missile testing, including two short-range nuclear missiles that were fired at the airport on Jan. 16.

JCS reported that the missile flew to an altitude of 620 km (390 mi), with a range of 300km (190 miles)

Analysts suggested that the flight data was not consistent with previous tests and could indicate that it is a medium-range missile capable of firing on an “infected” trajectory.

Japan’s Defense Ministry Nobuo Kishi stated in a live televised speech that there have been “frequent launches” since the start. North Korea also continues to rapidly develop missile technology. He stated that North Korea was endangering the safety of Japan, Japan’s region, and the international community.

The United States strongly condemned this latest North Korean launch, and called for North Korea’s cessation of destabilizing actions. However, the Indo-Pacific Command, a U.S. military command, stated that it did not present an immediate threat.

North Korea fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile Hwasong-12 on January 30, its last test.

According to reports, the Hwasong-12 weapon was the largest to be tested since 2017. It flew at an altitude around 2,000km (1,200 mi) and with a range of approximately 800 km (500 km). It was the end of January’s record-breaking month with a majority of short-range missile launch.


Sunday’s launch occurred less than 2 weeks prior to South Korea’s March 9 presidential elections. There were fears among some Seoul and Tokyo of Pyongyang pushing ahead with missile research while the international spotlight is on Russia’s invasion in Ukraine.

Kishi stated that “this launch is coming as the international response to the Russian invasion in Ukraine” and that North Korea’s use of this situation is unacceptable.

According to the statement by the Blue House, the South Korean National Security Council called the launch “regrettable” and convened an emergency meeting.

The statement stated that “launching a ballistic missile while the world attempts to end the Ukraine war” was not in the best interests of peace, stability, and security on the Korean Peninsula.

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

However, analysts and candidates noted that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversees an increase of missile tests even before the invasion. Talks with the United States, its allies, and other countries remain stuck.

“Putin’s War shapes almost all geopolitics right now, and should factor somewhere in Kim’s calculus — but even ‘taking advantage of distraction’ seems to presume too much, since (North Korea) was already testing aggressively before the war,” John Delury, a professor at South Korea’s Yonsei University, said on Twitter (NYSE:).


China’s Representative on the Korean Peninsula Liu Xiaoming said Sunday that he called his U.S counterpart Sung Kim to discuss North Korea’s legitimate, reasonable concerns. This was to urge the United States to pay more attention to North Korea in order to foster dialogue.

Liu posted on Twitter that “I pointed out the fact that under the current circumstances, relevant parties should exercise caution in words and conduct, avoid stimulating one another so as to stop escalation tensions on the Korean Peninsula.” He did not specify when and what the most recent test was.

North Korea has strong ties with China and did not test missiles at the Beijing Olympics. Beijing will host the 2022 Winter Paralympics on Friday.

North Korea is complaining about America’s unrelenting hostile policies. It suggested it could resume the testing of its long-range missiles and nuclear weapons.

Pyongyang has an ambitious schedule of military modernisation, and the Kim regime’s strength and legitimacy have become tied to testing ever-better missiles, said Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul.

“North Korea is not going to do anyone the favour of staying quiet while the world deals with Russia’s aggression against Ukraine,” he said.

Washington declares it is willing to talk with North Korea but Pyongyang rejected these offers as unsincere.

United Nations Security Council resolutions have banned North Korea from launching ballistic missiles. They also imposed sanctions against the country for its nuclear weapons and missile programs.

North Korea’s Foreign Ministry posted Saturday, its first comment since Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday. It included a statement made by a researcher calling America the “root reason” for the European crisis. The US is being pursued unilaterally with sanctions and pressures while disrespecting Russia’s legitimate requests for its safety.