North Korea said on Tuesday that it tested two tactical guided missiles a day earlier to verify the accuracy of that weapon system.
Monday’s firing – South Korea calls them short-range ballistic missiles – marked North Korea’s fourth weapons test this month as Pyongyang flexed its military might while ignoring talks offers from the United States.
Despite international sanctions, Pyongyang has conducted several weapons tests this year, including hypersonic missiles, as leader Kim Jong Un pursues his stated goal of further strengthening the military.
Economically hit by a self-imposed coronavirus blockade, North Korea has not responded to Washington’s offers for talks, while doubling down on weapons tests and calling for any effort to rein in it “strong and sure” response.
The launch comes at a delicate time in the region, with North Korea’s only major ally China set to host the Winter Olympics next month and South Korea gearing up for a presidential election in March.
“Two strategic guided missiles launched in the western sector of the DPRK accurately hit an island target in the East Sea of Korea,” state news agency KCNA said on Tuesday. DPRK stands for Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“The Academy of Defense Sciences has confirmed the accuracy, safety and efficiency of operation of the weapon system under production,” KCNA said.
This latest test was first reported by the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the South Korean military as well as Japan.
In response, the United States on Monday called on North Korea to “stop its illegal and destabilizing activities.”
The State Department said that in a call with South Korean and Japanese officials, US Special Representative on North Korea Sung Kim “expressed concern” about the missile launch and urged Pyongyang to return to talks “unconditionally”. Did.