South Korean media claims North Korea has fired two ballistic missiles in its latest military exercise
North Korea reportedly fired at least one projectile into the East Sea on Wednesday, several days after it tested newly developed long-range missiles, according to reports.
South Korea’s Yonhap News claimed on Wednesday that the communist country had fired two projectiles in the north, which it identified as ballistic missiles. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff was analyzing the situation, Yonhap told.
But the Associated Press was reporting that only one projectile was fired and the AP did not identify it as a ballistic missile. The AP also claimed that South Korea’s military was its source.
North Korea says ‘strategic’ long-range cruise missiles hit target in test
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the North Korean projectile flew toward the waters off the eastern coast of the Korean peninsula on Wednesday, according to the AP. It did not provide any further details.
Wednesday’s development follows Monday’s report of North Korean missile tests that took place last weekend – tests that end a year-long pause in the nation’s testing of projectiles, the AP reported.
North Korea said on Monday that it tested a newly developed cruise missile twice over the weekend. North Korea’s state media described the missiles as a “strategic weapon of great importance”, implying that they were developed with the intention of arming them with a nuclear warhead.
Many experts say the North Korean test suggested North Korea is pushing to strengthen its weapons arsenal amid a standoff in nuclear diplomacy between Pyongyang and Washington.
The latest launch came as Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was in Seoul with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and other senior officials to discuss stalled nuclear diplomacy with the North.
Talks between the United States and North Korea have stalled since 2019, when Americans rejected the North’s demand for major sanctions relief in exchange for dismantling an old nuclear facility. Kim’s government has so far rejected the Biden administration’s proposals for talks, demanding that Washington first drop its “hostile” policies.
The prospect of resuming the North’s testing activity after Kim failed to leverage his arsenal for economic gains during Donald Trump’s presidency is an attempt to pressure the Biden administration over the diplomatic freeze.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.