The South Korean military says North Korea fired “unidentified missiles” into the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan, on Sunday.
This is the seventh military test in 2022 by North Korea, which has not conducted so many weapons tests in a month since 2019, following the failure of talks between its leader Kim Jong Un and then US President Donald Trump.
The leader of the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said, “North Korea dropped an unidentified missile into the East Sea.
The Japanese Coast Guard also announced the discovery of a “potential ballistic missile” from North Korea.
Since the breakdown of talks with Trump, talks between Pyongyang and Washington with the United States have stalled, and the Asian nation has sunk economically due to international sanctions and a self-imposed siege abroad to protect its people from Covit-19.
This week, Pyongyang conducted two tests with missiles and this month four more tests, defined by hypersonic missiles on January 5th and 11th.
On Friday, state-owned media outlets aired pictures of Kim Jong Un wearing his usual black leather blazer and visiting an ammunition factory with other officials, which, according to reports, were preparing “an important weapons organization.”
In a speech to the party in December, Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his desire to make progress in modernizing his arsenal, and in January the regime signaled a resumption of testing with nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles, which was halted in 2017.
The first tests, conducted this year, prompted the United States to expand its sanctions against Pyongyang, however, in response by further accelerating its missile launches.
This series of tests comes at a subtle time for the region. China, a key ally of North Korea, is preparing to open the Beijing Winter Olympics in a few days, and South Korea will hold presidential elections in March.
Domestically, North Korea is preparing to celebrate the 80th birthday of Kim Jong Il, Kim’s father, in February, and the 110th birthday of his grandfather, the country’s founder, Kim Il Sung, in April.
Some experts also point to the need for the regime to promote a campaign that is favorable to its population, which, according to some reports, is facing rising hunger and strong food inflation.
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