Mon. Jan 24th, 2022

Launch came when Pyongyang accused the United States of deliberately escalating its situation by demanding tougher sanctions.

North Korea apparently tested a missile on Friday – the third test in just over a week, hours after criticizing the United States for stricter sanctions as a result of its continued testing of banned weapons.

“North Korea is firing unidentified projectiles eastward,” Seoul’s joint chiefs of staff said without providing further details.

Japan’s coastguard said it had “detected the launch from North Korea of ​​what looked like a ballistic missile or missiles at 2.55pm”.

A Coast Guard spokesman told AFP news agency he was still analyzing the area where the projectile fell and whether it was one or more objects.

If the launch is confirmed, it will be the third since January 5, when Pyongyang announced what was later said to be a hypersonic missile. Leader Kim Jong Un observed the second test of a hypersonic missile on Tuesday, the first time it has been imaged at a launch in almost two years.

Hypersonic weapons travels faster and is more maneuverable as conventional missiles and is also being developed by China, Russia and the United States.

North Korea is urging its military modernization and missile tests for self-defense, and state media on Friday accused the US of deliberately escalating the situation by imposing sanctions on individuals this week and urging the United Nations to stricter lightning on Pyongyang, Sanctions first imposed by the UN in 2006 have been gradually tightened.

A State Department statement issued by KCNA, the state news agency, warned of an unspecified “stronger and safer response” if the US takes a confrontational stance.

Leif-Eric Easley, an associate professor of international studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, said Pyongyang follows a well-known playbook.

“North Korea is trying to lay a trap for the Biden administration,” he said in an email comment.

“This has put in place missiles that he wants to test anyway and respond to US pressure with additional provocations in an attempt to enforce concessions. North Korea must be offered humanitarian aid as soon as it is willing to become diplomatically involved again. But his threats should not be rewarded with international recognition or easing of sanctions. “

Disarmament talks with Pyongyang have been halted since the collapse of the 2019 Hanoi summit between Kim and then-US President Donald Trump.

Joe Biden, who took office as president a year ago, has tried to encourage the North back to the table, and insists the US is open to unconditional talks.

Pyongyang argues that although Washington can speak of diplomacy and dialogue, his actions show that “it is still pursuing its policy of isolating and stifling North Korea.”

“The US is deliberately escalating the situation, even with the activation of independent sanctions, not satisfied with the referral of the DVK’s fair activities to the UN Security Council,” the statement said.

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