North Korea fires second suspected ballistic missile in a week

North Korea fired a suspected ballistic missile into the sea, South Korea’s military said Tuesday, raising tensions in less than a week. What Pyongyang said after reporting the test was that it was a hypersonic missile..

The launch came early in the morning when the UN Security Council met in New York to discuss Pyongyang’s test of a hypersonic missile last week, although Seoul has expressed skepticism.

After an emergency meeting, South Korea’s National Security Council “deeply regretted the launch,” according to a statement from the president’s office.

“It is very unfortunate that North Korea is constantly firing missiles,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters.

Issued by the Indo-Pacific Command of the United States. A brief statement alike Which he released in response to the start of last week.

Tuesday’s statement said in part that “while we have assessed that this incident is not an immediate threat to US personnel or the region or our allies, the missile launch destabilizes the DPRK’s illegal weapons program.” The defense of the Republic of Korea and Japan is ironclad. “

A man walks past a television screen with news broadcast with file footage of North Korea’s missile test at a Seoul railway station on January 11, 2022, when North Korea fired a “suspected ballistic missile” into the sea. South Korea’s military says less than a week after Pyongyang reported testing a hypersonic missile.

Anthony Wallace / AFP via Getty Images

According to Japanese government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno, there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage to Japanese aircraft.

“(The suspected missile) flew about 700 kilometers (435 miles) and landed outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone,” he said.

Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said it was fired from the ground at about 7:27 a.m. (5:27 a.m. EST) Tuesday morning, local time.

Pyongyang has not made any immediate claims about its latest test.

The second came in a week when six countries, including the United States and Japan, urged North Korea on Monday to end “destabilizing operations” ahead of a closed-door UN Security Council meeting.

France, Britain, Ireland and Albania joined North Korea in its demand for “meaningful dialogue for our common goal of complete nuclear disarmament”.

Analysts say Pyongyang may have planned the latest launch in line with a UN meeting.

“North Korea is continuing its experiments to diversify its nuclear arsenal, but to maximize its political influence,” Shin Beumchul, a researcher at the Korea Research Institute for National Strategy, told AFP. The launch was scheduled for the day of the UNSC meeting. “

Park Won-gun, a professor at Eva Women’s University in Seoul, said the frequency of the test indicated that Pyongyang could be suitable for programs starting next month before the Beijing Olympics.

North Korea has been. Beijing has been barred from the Winter Olympics. After the end of the Tokyo Games due to the delay in the epidemic COVID-19 Concerns, a move Pyongyang has accused “enemy forces”.

In the decade since leader Kim Jong Un took office, North Korea has seen rapid advances in its military technology at the expense of international sanctions.

In 2021, nuclear-armed North Korea said it would launch a new type of submarine-launched ballistic missile, long-range cruise missile, train-launched weapon, and a hypersonic warhead. What is a successful experiment?

South Korea has expressed skepticism over Pyongyang’s hypersonic claims, saying last week’s test represents limited progress on the government’s existing ballistic missiles.

Kim Dong-yub, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies, said a second hypersonic test so quickly could indicate that last week’s launch was a failure.

“It’s hard to understand why they would do another test in less than a week,” he added.

The Associated Press quoted some experts as saying that Pyongyang’s reaction could be to reduce the latest test to Seoul last week.

Hypersonic missiles move very fast and are more agile than standard missiles, which makes them much more difficult for the missile defense system – on which the United States is spending billions – to intercept.

They were included in North Korea’s current five-year plan for “high-priority” tasks for strategic weapons, and Announced its first test – the Hwasong-8 – last September..

The experiments come at a time when North Korea has refused to respond to US calls for talks.

At a key meeting of North Korea’s ruling party last month, Kim vowed to continue building the country’s defense capabilities without naming the United States.

Instead of pursuing a policy position on diplomacy, for which Kim’s New Year’s statements are closely watched, he focused on food security and economic development.

Talks between Washington and Pyongyang continue to stall and the country is subject to several international sanctions on its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Poor nations are also under severe blockade by the self-inflicted Corona virus, which has damaged its economy.

CBS News’ Lucy Kraft says the government is working on even more advanced rockets, including hard stopping, tractor shifting Hypersonic glide missile, Especially in Tokyo.

Japan’s so-called “peace constitution”, written in the wake of its defeat in World War II, limits its armed forces to self-defense. But as North Korea accelerates its weapons development, Japan has announced that it is considering a fundamental change in its governing document that would allow its military to target enemy targets, including missile sites. Will do