North Korea fires another projectile into the Sea of ​​Japan

  • The South Korean General Staff detected the launch and Japan reported that it appears to “be a ballistic missile”

North Korea today launched an “unidentified projectile” to the Sea of ​​Japan (called the East Sea in the two Koreas), according to the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). The brief JCS statement sent to journalists is limited to explaining that “North Korea has fired an unidentified projectile into the East Sea”, while the Japanese government reported that the projectile “appears to be a ballistic missile”. The Japanese Ministry of Defense has explained that the launch took place around 2:20 p.m. local time (5:20 GMT) and that the projectile would have already fallen into the water, outside the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of Japan.

With this test there are already 12, a record number, the tests of this type carried out so far this year by Pyongyang, which, according to Washington and Seoul, is testing in its latest tests technology for a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) called Hwasong-17, which potentially has greater range and destructive power.

This new launch comes just three days after the regime tested a multiple rocket launcher system, launching several projectiles into the Yellow Sea (called the West Sea in the two Koreas), and a week after a failed launch apparently linked to the tests. of the Hwasong-17.

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Since February, the North Korean army has been testing a type of projectile – whose typology has not been specified – from the Sunan international airport in Pyongyang, stating that it is testing systems to launch a new reconnaissance satellite. South Korean and US military intelligence believe North Korea is seeking to carry out a full Hwasong-17 test soon by disguising it as a “space launch,” as it has done in the past.

The North Korean regime outlined at the 2021 single party congress a five-year plan for weapons modernization that is behind the current string of tests. In turn, it has rejected US invitations to dialogue at a time when the country, which remains closed to the ground due to the pandemic, has not yet vaccinated a single of its citizens, which makes holding it very unlikely. high-level diplomatic face-to-face meetings.

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