North Korea fires ballistic missile in extension of testing - GulfToday

North Korea fires ballistic missile in extension of testing


People watch a TV report on North Korea's missile launch during a news programme in Seoul on Saturday. AP

Gulf Today Report

North Korea fired a suspected ballistic missile on Saturday, Seoul's military said, according to its neighbours’ militaries, extending Pyongyang's streak of weapons tests this year amid a prolonged freeze in nuclear negotiations with the United States.

The launch was North Korea’s ninth round of weapons tests in 2022 as it continues to use a pause in diplomacy to expand its military capabilities while attempting to pressure the Biden administration for concessions.


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It was the continuation of this year's record-breaking blitz of weapons tests with a launch just days before South Korea's presidential election.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile fired from an area near the North Korean capital flew about 270 kilometres (168 miles) eastward at a maximum altitude of 560 kilometres (348 miles) before landing in waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. It said US and South Korean intelligence officials were closely analyzing the launch.

A TV broadcasting a news report on North Korea’s firing a ballistic missile off its east coast, in Seoul. Reuters

From hypersonic to medium-range ballistic missiles, Pyongyang test-fired a string of weaponry in January and last week launched what it claimed was a component of a "reconnaissance satellite" — although Seoul described it as another ballistic missile.

Despite biting international sanctions over its nuclear weapons, Pyongyang has ignored US offers of talks since high-profile negotiations between leader Kim Jong Un and then-US president Donald Trump collapsed in 2019.

Instead of diplomacy, Pyongyang has doubled-down on Kim's drive to modernise its military, warning in January that it could abandon a self-imposed moratorium on testing long-range missiles and nuclear weapons.

South Korea's military said Saturday it had detected a presumed "ballistic missile launched into the East Sea from the Sunan area around 08:48 am."


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