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North Korea appears to have fired cruise missiles

  • January 25, 2022
  • , Kyodo News , 3:55 p.m.
  • English Press

SEOUL — North Korea on Tuesday fired two suspected cruise missiles from an inland area, a South Korean military official said, following a flurry of weapons tests by Pyongyang recently.

 

South Korea is still assessing what types of missile were fired, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity and declined to provide further details, including from where they were launched. The country’s media reported they were fired into the sea off North Korea’s east coast.

 

North Korea has test-fired ballistic missiles four times already this year, in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions and international criticism.

 

Tuesday’s apparent firing of cruise missiles, which North Korea is not banned from doing by U.N. resolutions, came after Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. President Joe Biden condemned Pyongyang’s recent actions during their meeting held virtually late last week.

 

On Thursday, a day before their first official meeting, North Korea hinted at lifting its self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests put in place in 2018 at a time when its leader Kim Jong Un was seeking to build trust with former U.S. President Donald Trump.

 

In mid-September last year, North Korea said it successfully test-fired a new model of long-range cruise missile that flew more than two hours and traveled about 1,500 kilometers — a long enough range to strike Japan.

 

While North Korea is not prohibited from testing cruise missiles, they are likely to be more maneuverable than ballistic missiles and weapons experts say they are harder to intercept if they approach at low altitudes.

 

North Korea’s placing a nuclear warhead on a cruise missile would be regarded as a grave security threat for Japan or any other country in the region.

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