SEOUL – North Korea on Sunday carried out its boldest ballistic missile test in years, spurring Its recently launched series despite US warnings that it could face more sanctions.
The missile was launched from North Korea’s Jagang province, which borders China, and flew over the North before crashing into waters off the country’s east coast, the South Korean military said. This is North Korea’s seventh missile test this month.
South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in’s office said the projectile was a medium-range ballistic missile. Flight data showed it was North Korea’s most powerful launch since its last test-launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile in November 2017. It was fired at a steep angle, reaching an altitude of 1,242 miles in when at a distance of 497 miles, Korean defense officials said.
The last time North Korea ate lunch with an intermediate-range ballistic missile was in October 2019, when it test-fired the Pukguksong-3, a submarine-launched ballistic missile.
When North Korea tests medium- and long-range missiles, North Korea often launches them at a deliberately steep angle to ensure that they don’t fly over Japan, something Tokyo, Washington and their allies consider extreme. provocative. Such missiles could fly much farther if they were launched in a normal ballistic missile trajectory.
During North Korea’s last ICBM test in 2017, the missile reached an altitude of 2,796 miles and flew a distance of 596 miles. After that test, North Korea claimed that its ballistic missile could target parts or the entire continental United States with a nuclear warhead.
Sunday’s missile test was North Korea’s third in the last week and seventh in January, which appears to be the busiest month for missile launches since leader Kim Jong-un ascended the throne. took power a decade ago. According to South Korea’s national news agency, Yonhap, North Korea has never launched more than six missiles a month under Kim.
Kim has vowed to focus on expanding North Korea’s nuclear and missile capabilities since having diplomatic relations with then-President Donald Trump. ended without a deal in 2019. He rejected repeated offers by the Biden administration to resume negotiations “without preconditions”; instead, he ordered his government to prepare for a “long confrontation” with the United States.
The new missile tests have surprised some analysts in the region, who had hoped North Korea would refrain from escalating tensions ahead of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, which kicks off in this week. China is North Korea’s only major ally.
The United States’ deteriorating relations with China and Russia appear to have provided an opportunity for Kim to conduct weapons tests with impunity. When Washington asked the United Nations Security Council to impose more sanctions on North Korea for its recent ballistic missile tests in violation of the council resolution, both Beijing and Moscow vetoed. .
Importance of North Korea’s missile tests
In its two most recent weapons tests, North Korea said it test-fired two long-range cruise missiles and one tactical guided missile that outside analysts refer to as the KN-23. The KN-23 is a short-range ballistic missile designed to thwart missile defense systems by performing low-altitude, mid-flight maneuvers, according to missile experts.
On Friday, North Korean state media said Mr Kim had visited “a munitions factory that produces a major weapon system” to encourage developers of his weapons.
At the end of 2019, Mr. Kim warned that he no longer feel bound by self-imposed banning nuclear tests and long-range missiles. During a Politburo meeting last week, he again suggested that his government could continue testing long-range missiles and nuclear devices.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/29/world/asia/north-korea-missile-test.html North Korea’s latest missile test looks boldest in years