SEOUL — North Korea fired a suspected ballistic missile into waters off its east coast on Wednesday, South Korean and Japanese authorities said, the first such test in the new year. .
The missile was launched at around 8:10 a.m. local time, before plunging into the sea between South Korea and Japan, the South Korean military said.
The launch came a few days after the North Korean leader
Swear to Pursuit of high-tech weapons to combat what he called military instability on the Korean Peninsula.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said North Korea appeared to have launched a ballistic missile and Tokyo was looking into where it landed. “Unfortunately, North Korea has launched a series of missiles since last year,” he said.
South Korea is closely monitoring the situation and maintaining a defensive posture, the Seoul military said.
Last year, North Korea said it had successfully tested a new type of submarine-launched ballistic missile and train-launched weapons, described as hypersonic warheads. Pyongyang has made a rocket launcher last year, even though ballistic missile launches were banned under UN sanctions.
The latest test comes as North Korea ignores calls from the United States and South Korea to engage in talks. Washington and Pyongyang have not held formal nuclear talks in more than two years. The Biden administration has repeatedly offered to meet without preconditions, but the Kim regime has denied that access. In his year-end speech, Mr. Kim largely ignored the US and South Korea.
North Korea has suffered from domestic challenges since the Covid-19 pandemic began. Its borders have remained closed since the beginning of 2020, hurting the economy. Mr. Kim has warned of food shortages.
Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, said: “Despite the very difficult economic situation, including food shortages amid the isolation of the country by the pandemic, North Korea is still continue to develop its offensive military capabilities.”
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https://www.wsj.com/articles/north-korea-fires-projectile-off-its-east-coast-11641344771 North Korea fires missiles off its east coast