North Korea fires fresh missiles in response to US sanctions

North Korea has been performing more tests of new, presumably nuclear-capable missiles geared towards overpowering regional missile defenses

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North korea launches missile
(Photo credit STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Officials in South Korea confirmed that North Korea launched what appear to be two short-range ballistic missiles on Friday, in possible retaliation for new penalties imposed by the Biden government for the country’s persistent missile tests.

The missiles were launched 11 minutes apart from an interior area in western North Pyongan province, where North Korea is understood to possess significant missile facilities and has regularly executed test launches in past years, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.

According to the military, the missiles traveled 430 kilometers (267 miles) cross-country at a maximum altitude of 36 kilometers (22 miles) before plunging into the sea.

The Japanese coast guard cautioned ships to be aware of falling objects, but Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said no damage to ships or planes had been detected.

North Korea released a declaration reprimanding the Biden administration for enacting more sanctions in response to its past missile tests, stressing that if Washington continues its aggressive approach, it would face tougher and more explicit action.

In reaction to the North’s missile launch this week, the penalties targeted five North Koreans for their participation in obtaining tools and facilities for the North’s missile programs. Washington also announced that further UN sanctions would be sought.

The second hypersonic missile test in a week was supervised by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who claimed it would significantly improve his country’s nuclear “war capability.”

North Korea has been performing more tests of new, presumably nuclear-capable missiles geared towards overpowering regional missile defenses.

Some analysts believe Kim is resorting to a tried-and-true tactic of threatening the world with ballistic missiles and outlandish threats before initiating concession-seeking discussions.

Following an exceptionally provocative run of nuclear and long-range missile tests in 2017, which illustrated the North’s pursuit of an armory capable of attacking the American homeland, Kim began diplomacy with former President Donald Trump in 2018 in the hopes of effectively utilizing his nuclear weapons for economic gain.

The discussions fell apart following Kim’s second meeting with Trump in 2019 when the Americans rejected his requests for massive international sanctions in consideration of a partial concession of the North’s nuclear weapons.

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