In an apparent test just days before the South’s presidential election, North Korea launched at least one suspected ballistic missile into a sea to the east of the Korean peninsula on Saturday, according to military sources in the area.
Several military organisations, including South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff and Japan’s Prime Minister’s Office, claimed the launch looked to include a suspected ballistic missile.
This would be the ninth launch of the calendar year. The most recent occurred on February 27, when North Korea claimed to have successfully tested technologies for a reconnaissance satellite launch.
It was claimed by the South Korean military that the launch on Saturday originated from a point near Sunan, where Pyongyang’s international airport is situated. Previous tests, like the one on February 27th, have taken place in the area.
As Japan’s Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi put it, “This launch comes at a time when world society is grappling with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as when the Beijing Paralympic Games are being hosted… and it is not appropriate.”
North Korea’s missile, according to Kishi, was launched from an altitude of 550 kilometres (340 miles) and travelled a distance of 300 kilometres (190 miles).
According to the presidential Blue House, an emergency meeting of South Korea’s National Security Council would be held immediately.
The launch serves as a reminder of the difficulties that will face whomever is elected president of South Korea on Wednesday.
North Korea staged a record number of missile launches in January, despite the fact that disarmament discussions had come to a halt. Apparently, they are planning to launch a spy satellite in the near future, and they have hinted that they may begin nuclear weapons testing or the testing of their longest-range intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) for the first time since 2017.
Analysts believe North Korea will take advantage of the forthcoming presidential changeover in South Korea, as well as a significant national holiday on April 15, to test a huge new missile or other military system.
North Korea’s missile tests occurred at an inconvenient time for us, given the worldwide emphasis on Ukraine, according to Jean Lee, a fellow at the Wilson Center in Washington, who shared her thoughts on Twitter. “However, it makes perfect sense in North Korea, where experts are concentrating on perfecting new weaponry for Kim to display during a major military parade in mid-April,” the article continues.
Launches of North Korea’s ballistic missiles are prohibited by United Nations Security Council resolutions, which have also placed sanctions on the nation as a result of its nuclear weapons development.
The United States has said that it is ready to discussions with no preconditions, but Pyongyang claims that negotiations will only be feasible if the United States and its allies abandon their hostile policies against the country.
According to the 38 North project, which is located in the United States and monitors North Korea, the country’s major nuclear plant is fully operational and manufacturing fuel for possible nuclear bombs as well as expanding the country’s nuclear production facilities.