North Korea fires two suspected missiles in sixth launch this year

Seoul, South Korea – North Korea South Korea’s military said on Thursday it had fired two suspected ballistic missiles into the sea in its sixth weapons launch this month.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the weapon, likely short-range, was launched from an eastern coastal area, but did not immediately say how far it would fly.

North Korea has recently ramped up testing activity in an apparent attempt to pressure the Biden administration amid long-stalled nuclear talks.

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New pressure comes as the pandemic continues to rock North Korea’s economy, which has been battered by US-led sanctions that have crippled its nuclear weapons program and decades of mismanagement. of the government of this country.

North Korea last week issued a veiled threat to continued testing of nuclear explosives and long-range missiles targeting the US homeland, which leader Kim Jong Un suspended in 2018 while initiating diplomacy with the United States.

Kim’s summit with the former President Donald Trump derailed in 2019 due to disagreements over sanctions and denuclearization.

Some experts say North Korea could significantly escalate arms demonstrations after Winter Olympic Gamesstarting on February 4 at Chinathe main ally and economic lifeblood of the North.

They say Pyongyang’s leadership most likely feels they can use a powerful provocation to rotate her needle with the Biden administration, which has always been preoccupied with larger rivals including China. and Russia.

The Biden administration has offered open-ended talks but has shown no willingness to ease sanctions unless Mr Kim takes real steps to give up the nuclear weapons and missiles he sees as ensure his strongest survival.

North Korea has ramped up testing since last fall, showing a variety of missiles and delivery systems that appear to be designed to overwhelm missile defenses in the region.

Experts say Mr Kim is trying to put more pressure on rivals Washington and Seoul to accept it as a nuclear power in the hope of winning relief from economic sanctions and foreign transformation. with Washington into joint arms reduction negotiations.

Thursday’s launch comes two days after the South Korean military spotted North Korea’s test flight two suspected cruise missiles in an unspecified inland area.

North Korea opens 2022 with a pair of challenges of one purposeful hypersonic missilewhich Kim has described as an asset that would significantly aid his nuclear “war deterrence.”

This month, North Korea also test-fired two different types of short-range ballistic missiles it has been developing since 2019 that are designed to be maneuverable and fly at low altitudes, which experts say can the ability to improve the chances of dodging and defeating missile defense systems. North Korea fires two suspected missiles in sixth launch this year

Jake Nichol

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