Conflicts: North Korea fires long-range cruise missile and missile

North Korea has continued its series of missile tests despite international protests.

Conflicts: North Korea fires long-range cruise missile and missile

North Korea has continued its series of missile tests despite international protests. As the state news agency KCNA reported on Thursday, ruler Kim Jong Un witnessed the launch of two long-range cruise missiles on Wednesday. On Friday (local time), the South Korean military then reported, according to the Yonhap Agency, that North Korea had fired a short-range missile in the direction of the Sea of ​​Japan. Accordingly, the ballistic missile started at night near the North Korean capital Pyongyang.

The cruise missiles launched on Wednesday took off from the western province of South Pyongan in the direction of the Yellow Sea and after a flight duration of 10,234 seconds they accurately hit their targets 2,000 kilometers away, KCNA said. Ruler Kim Jong Un spoke of a "clear warning to the enemy", without naming it specifically.

According to the KCNA, the launch was also intended to test the "rapid responsiveness of the nuclear combat force". Experts question whether the missiles fired on Wednesday are technically capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

With high frequency

The North Korean military has been conducting missile tests at an unusually high frequency since the end of September. According to the government itself, this was intended to simulate the shelling of South Korean airfields with tactical nuclear weapons. Accordingly, dummy nuclear warheads were used in the weapons tests, which Kim personally supervised.

According to KCNA, the government had previously justified its missile tests in response to the recent sea maneuvers by the South Korean and US armed forces, in which the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan took part for the first time in four years.

At the beginning of the month, Pyongyang also launched a medium-range missile over the Japanese archipelago for the first time in five years. The last time North Korea launched a missile over Japan in 2017, the country conducted a nuclear weapons test just days later.

Nuclear test also expected

According to the South Korean Defense Ministry, North Korea is currently preparing to launch a ballistic submarine missile and an ICBM. Experts also expect North Korea to conduct its first nuclear test since 2017 in the coming weeks.

UN resolutions prohibit North Korea from testing ballistic missiles of any range, which, depending on the design, can also carry a nuclear warhead.

A common position of the UN Security Council on the North Korean missile launches is still not in sight. In particular, China, North Korea's most important partner, gives the United States complicity in Pyongyang's behavior. In the past, Washington has not responded adequately to the country's denuclearization measures.

KCNA, English

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