Seoul, South Korea — North Korea Two short-range ballistic missiles were fired in the third weapons launch this month, officials said Friday. South Korea Said in apparent retaliation for new sanctions imposed by the Biden administration over its continued test firings.
South KoreaThe Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missiles came from an inland area west of North Pyongan Province.
JapanThe Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Defence also detected the launch, while its coast guard urged ships to watch out for falling objects.
a few hours ago, North Korea The statement condemned the Biden administration for imposing new sanctions over its missile tests and warned of stronger and clearer action if Washington maintained its “confrontational stance.”
The sanctions targeted five North Koreans for their role in acquiring equipment and technology for the North’s missile program in response to North Korea’s missile tests this week. Washington also said it would seek new UN sanctions.
The test-firing of hypersonic missiles on Tuesday – the second time a week – was overseen by leader Kim Jong Un, which he said would greatly enhance his country’s nuclear “deterrent to war”.
North Korea Testing of new, potentially nuclear-capable missiles has been ramping up, aiming to overwhelm the region’s missile defenses. Some experts say Kim is returning to a tried-and-true technique of pressuring the world with missile launches and brazen threats before offering talks aimed at securing concessions.
Following unusually provocative nuclear and long-range missile tests in 2017 that showed North Korea was pursuing an arsenal that could target the U.S. mainland, Kim Jong Un engaged in diplomacy with former President Donald Trump in 2018 in an attempt to use his nuclear weapons for economic gain.
But talks derailed after Kim’s second summit with Trump in 2019, when the Americans rejected his demand for major sanctions relief in exchange for North Korea’s partial relinquishment of its nuclear capabilities.
Kim Jong-un has since pledged to further expand his nuclear arsenal, which he clearly sees as the strongest guarantee of his survival, despite a major setback for the country’s economy following the closure of borders during the pandemic and ongoing U.S.-led sanctions.
His administration has so far rejected an open-ended proposal from the Biden administration to resume talks, saying Washington must first abandon its “hostile policy” — used primarily by Pyongyang to describe sanctions and unite the United States —South Korea Military exercises.
Leif-Eric Easley, professor at Ewha University in Seoul North Korea It seems to be signaling that it will not go unnoticed and will respond to stress with stress.
“North Korea is trying to set a trap for a Biden administration,” Easley said. “It has queued up the missiles it wants to test and is responding to U.S. pressure with additional provocations to extort concessions. “
in a statement North KoreaThe official KCNA news agency, an unidentified foreign ministry spokesman, defended the launch on Friday, calling it a legitimate act of self-defense.
The spokesman said the new sanctions underscored U.S. hostile intent to “isolate and stifle” North Korea. The spokesman accused Washington of maintaining a “gangster-like” stance, saying North Korea’s development of new missiles is part of its military modernization efforts and does not target any particular country or threaten the security of its neighbors.
Hypersonic weapons travel at speeds in excess of Mach 5, or 5 times the speed of sound, and can pose significant challenges to missile defense systems due to their speed and maneuverability.
The weapon was on Kim’s wish list of complex military assets released early last year, along with multiple warhead missiles, spy satellites, solid-fuel long-range missiles and submarine-launched nuclear missiles.
However, experts say North Korea It will take years and more successful and longer-distance testing before a reliable hypersonic system is available.
In an interview with MSNBC, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called North Korea’s latest test “severely destabilizing” and said the U.S. is in deep engagement with the United Nations and key partners, including allies South Korea and Japan, respond.
“I think some of them are North Korea Try to get attention. This has been done in the past.It may continue to do so,” Blinken said. “But we are very concerned about our allies and partners to make sure they and us are properly protected and that these actions have repercussions and consequences. North Korea. “
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