Status: 11.01.2022 3:10 a.m.
The US and other countries in the UN Security Council have criticized North Korea’s missile test last week. Pyongyang is apparently responding with a new weapon test.
According to its neighboring countries South Korea and Japan, the self-proclaimed nuclear power North Korea has apparently again tested a potentially nuclear-capable missile. North Korea fired a rocket inland in the direction of the open sea in the morning (local time), said the general staff of the South Korean military. It may have been a ballistic missile. How far the missile flew was initially unclear.
UN resolutions prohibit North Korea from testing ballistic missiles, which, depending on their design, can also carry a nuclear warhead. Japan also confirmed the new weapons test by North Korea. Government officials spoke of a suspected ballistic missile, the Japanese news agency Kyodo reported.
North Korea’s missile test just last week
The rocket fell outside Japan’s “exclusive economic zone” into the Sea of Japan (Korean: East Sea). According to the South Korean military, the latest missile test should be analyzed in more detail together with US authorities.
The politically largely isolated North Korea had already undertaken a new missile test in the past few weeks and later spoke of a successful second test of a hypersonic missile within four months. South Korea’s Ministry of Defense, however, questioned the information provided by North Korea that the missile flew 700 kilometers. Compared to the rocket launch in September, the test does not represent any technological progress.
UN Security Council expresses concern
Hypersonic describes speeds above five times the speed of sound, i.e. around 6180 kilometers per hour. Hypersonic missiles can also potentially carry a nuclear weapon. The United States and other UN Security Council countries saw North Korea’s missile test last week as a threat to regional stability.
The steps taken by the autocracy in Pyongyang “increase the risk of misjudgments and escalations,” said a joint statement by the USA, Great Britain, France, Ireland and Albania together with Japan on Monday.
For years, Pyongyang has been promoting the development of missiles that not only hit South Korea and Japan, but can also carry nuclear warheads as far as the USA. The country has declared itself a nuclear power. However, in light of the negotiations on its controversial nuclear weapons program, its status is being kept open. However, the US negotiations with North Korea have not made any headway for almost three years.