North Korea Launches Another Missile, in Second Test of New Year

General

North Korea launched another suspected ballistic missile, South Korea and Japan reported Tuesday, in what is Pyongyang’s second major weapons test of the new year.

In an alert, South Korea’s military said the North launched what is presumed to be a single ballistic missile from an "inland area" around 7:27 a.m. local time.

Japan’s coast guard also said the launch appeared to involve a ballistic missile. The missile landed in the sea outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone, with no damage reported, according to the Kyodo news agency.

No further details were available. North Korea does not typically confirm its launches until state-run newspapers are published the following day.

The launch came as the United Nations Security Council held a closed-door meeting to discuss North Korea’s launch last week.

North Korea on Wednesday claimed a successful test of a newly developed “hypersonic missile,” although defense experts say that claim is likely exaggerated.

At Monday’s meeting in New York, the United States and five other members of the United Nations Security Council condemned the launch.

“The DPRK’s continued pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs is a threat to international peace and security,” the statement said, using an abbreviation for North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

North Korea’s launches show its “determination to expand its unlawful weapons capabilities,” the statement added. “These actions increase the risk of miscalculation and escalation and pose a significant threat to regional stability.”

Since it resumed major missile tests in 2019 amid a breakdown in talks with the U.S., North Korea has unveiled multiple short-range weapon systems designed to overwhelm or evade U.S. missile defenses.

North Korea is prohibited from any ballistic missile activity, including launches of any range, by a series of U.N. Security Council resolutions

The latest test comes as North Korea has ignored repeated offers by the U.S. to restart negotiations.

Source: Voice of America