North Korea fires fourth missile in a month | Daily News

North Korea fires fourth missile in a month

KOREA: North Korea fired two suspected ballistic missiles Monday, Seoul said, its fourth weapons test this month as Pyongyang flexes its military muscle while ignoring offers of talks from the United States.

Despite biting international sanctions, Pyongyang has conducted a string of weapons tests this year, including hypersonic missiles, as leader Kim Jong Un pursues his avowed goal of further strengthening the military.

Reeling economically from a self-imposed coronavirus blockade, impoverished North Korea has not responded to Washington's offers of talks, doubled down on weapons tests and vowed a "stronger and certain" response to any attempts to rein it in. "Two suspected "short-range ballistic missiles" were fired east from an airport in Pyongyang early Monday, the South Korean military's Joint Chiefs of Staff said, with Japan also confirming the launch. The missiles flew 380 kilometres (around 240 miles) at an altitude of 42km," the JCS added.

The frequent and varied tests this year indicate North Korea "is trying to improve its technology and operational capability in terms of covert actions", Japanese Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi told reporters.

Pyongyang said it successfully tested hypersonic gliding missiles on January 5 and January 11, with the second launch personally supervised by Kim.

Hypersonic missiles are a top priority in Pyongyang's new five-year defence development plan, unveiled January 2021, which it has pursued while dialogue with the United States remained stalled.

- THE BANGKOK POST


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