News ID: 319462
Published: 0229 GMT January 17, 2022

North Korea fires short-range missiles in 4th launch this year

North Korea fires short-range missiles in 4th launch this year
Korean Central News Agency

North Korea fired two suspected ballistic missiles into the sea Monday in its fourth weapons launch this month, South Korea’s military said, with the apparent goal of demonstrating its military might amid paused diplomacy with the United States and pandemic border closures.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the North likely fired two short-range ballistic missiles from an area in Sunan, the location of Pyongyang’s international airport. The missiles were launched four minutes apart Monday morning and flew around 380 kilometers (236 miles) on a maximum altitude of 42 kilometers (26 miles) before landing in waters off the country’s northeastern coast, it said.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who is visiting the United Arab Emirates, instructed officials to make “utmost efforts to ensure stability” on the Korean Peninsula, his office said. It also said members of the presidential National Security Council stressed the need to revive nuclear diplomacy with Pyongyang.

Japan’s Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said the missiles landed outside the Japan’s exclusive economic zone, and the chief cabinet secretary, Hirokazu Matsuno, condemned North Korea’s actions as threats to peace.

North Korea had conducted a pair of flight tests of a purported hypersonic missile on Jan. 5 and Jan. 11 and also test-fired ballistic missiles from a train Friday in an apparent reprisal over fresh sanctions imposed by the U.S. administration last week for its continuing test launches.

A diplomatic push aimed at convincing North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program collapsed in 2019 after the administration of former U.S. president Donald Trump rejected the North’s demands for major sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear capabilities.

North Korea has so far rejected the Biden administration’s call to resume dialogue without preconditions, saying that Washington must first abandon its “hostile policy”.



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