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North Korea is launching potential ballistic missiles

US, WASHINGTON (NEWS OBSERVATORY) — North Korea on Monday launched several projectiles, which Tokyo said could be ballistic missiles, weeks after Pyongyang put an end to a freeze on tests of long-range ballistic missiles.

This is Pyongyang’s second experiment in a week. On March 2, North Korea launched two projectiles, which Seoul estimated were short-range ballistic missiles.

These experiences come as negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic program are stalled. North Korea has given the United States until the end of 2019 to submit new proposals in this regard.

The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff announced, “It appears that (Pyongyang) conducted launches involving various types of multiple missile launchers,” on Monday, expressing “deep regret” over the move.

The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff indicated in a first phase to launch “three projectiles”, before announcing “multiple” launches.

She said that these operations were carried out in the Sanduk region on the east coast of North Korea, and northeast towards the Sea of ​​Japan, and covered a distance of 200 km, with a maximum height of 50 km. The distance these missiles traveled was lower than that of the missiles launched on 2 March, but their altitude was higher.

For its part, the Japanese Ministry of Defense announced Monday that North Korea launched what appeared to be “ballistic missiles”, which contravenes the decisions of the United Nations Security Council in this regard.

In a speech to parliament, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe considered “the repeated launches of ballistic missiles, such as ballistic missiles, as a serious problem for the international community, and our country implicitly.”

– “A new stage” –

During their participation in an emergency meeting, members of the South Korean government said that these launches “do not contribute” to peace efforts in the region.

In 2018, the Korean peninsula witnessed a remarkable breakthrough, represented by historical meetings between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump.

But nuclear disarmament negotiations have reached a dead end after the second summit that brought the two men together in February 2019 in Hanoi.

Since the end of the year, Pyongyang has conducted a series of launches, the last of which was in November, which it said included ballistic missiles and tests of a “large-caliber guided multi-missile launch system.” In December I also tested an engine.

In the aftermath, in late December, Kim announced the end of the freeze on nuclear testing and the response of intercontinental ballistic missiles. He also threatened to unveil a “new strategic weapon.”

Monday’s experience, if confirmed, could launch three missiles from one transport, installation and defamation unit, the start of a “new phase” in the short-range ballistic missile program in North Korea, as emphasized in Ankit Panda’s tweet from the American Federation of Scientists, an organization that is Governmental interested in studying the dangers associated with nuclear weapons.

“Kim continues to conduct experiments, and to improve and operationalize his forces,” said the researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Science, in Vipin Narang.

– “Scared dog barking.”

After the March 2 launches, North Korean media reported that Kim Jong Un oversaw “long-range artillery fire.”

It also published photos of multiple missile launch batteries, as well as photos of a large-scale missile launch in a forest.

In the aftermath, Kim Yong-jung’s sister Kim Jong-un and his closest adviser considered Seoul’s protests against these operations “truly reckless”. These criticisms were likened to a “frightened dog barking”.

This sharp tone contrasts with the message of support that Kim Jong-un sent last week to the South Koreans who are fighting the spread of the emerging coronavirus. South Korea is the third country most affected by the emerging coronavirus, after China and Italy.

On the other hand, North Korea, which has closed its borders and taken harsh isolation measures, has yet to report any cases on its soil.


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Article is written and prepared by our foreign editors from different countries around the world – material edited and published by News Observatory staff in our US newsroom.