North Korea fires unidentified projectile, South says

The test comes after North Korea said it had successfully tested a hypersonic missile on Tuesday, the second alleged test of such a weapon by Kim Jong Un’s regime in a week and the third since New Year’s Day.

Friday’s test drill was used to “verify and judge the proficiency” of the “north Phyongan province’s rail missile regiment”, the Korean Central News Agency said.

This is not the first time that North Korea has launched missiles from a train car. He performed a similar test last September.

The test launches were overseen by commanders from the Korean People’s Army and senior officials from the Academy of Defense Sciences, according to KCNA.

“The regiment received a short-notice firepower mission from the General Staff on the morning of Friday before moving quickly to the firing range and accurately hitting the target set in the sea of ​​the East of Korea (also known as the Sea of ​​Japan) with two guided missile tactics,” KCNA said.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said North Korea fired two projectiles, believed to be short-range ballistic missiles, from the Uiju area of ​​North Pyongan province, in the waters off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula.

The military suspects the projectiles had a flight range of about 430 kilometers and an altitude of about 36 kilometers, JCS said in a statement, adding that intelligence authorities in South Korea and the United States were analyzing further details.

A day after Tuesday’s test, the United States announced sanctions against eight North Korean and Russian individuals and entities for supporting Pyongyang’s ballistic missile programs.

On Friday, a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson chastised the United States for its stance against North Korea’s weapons development, adding: “If the United States adopts such a confrontational stance, the DPRK will be forced to react to it in a firmer and more certain way.

In a statement released by KCNA, the spokesperson defended the country’s right to strengthen its armaments, saying that “its recent development of new-type weapons was only part of its efforts to modernize its defense capability. national”.

Analysis: North Korea claims to be testing the world's most advanced weapon.  Experts doubt

Leif-Eric Easley, associate professor of international studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, said after Friday’s test that Pyongyang “seems to be signaling that it won’t be ignored and will respond to pressure with pressure.”

“North Korea is trying to trap the Biden administration,” Easley said. “He has lined up missiles he wants to test anyway and is responding to US pressure with further provocations in an effort to extort concessions.”

Pyongyang is not allowed to test ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons under international law, but it has continued to develop weapons in violation of this.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday showed no sign of compromise from Washington.

After holding a phone call with South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong, Blinken issued a statement condemning the North Korean tests and reiterating Washington’s “ironclad” commitment to South Korea’s defense. South.

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