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North Korea confirms test-firing of tactical ballistic missile

North Korea confirms test-firing of tactical ballistic missile
By Yagiz Efe Parmaksiz
May 18, 2024 1:43 AM

North Korea confirms the test of tactical ballistic missile, with Kim Jong Un promising to increase the country’s nuclear capability

North Korea acknowledged on Saturday that it had tested a tactical ballistic missile, according to the government news agency KCNA, with leader Kim Jong Un promising to boost the country’s nuclear capability.

Kim oversaw Friday’s test launch, which sought to assess the “accuracy and reliability” of a new autonomous guidance system, according to the KCNA report. Kim expressed “great satisfaction” with the positive test results.

The South Korean authorities announced the launch on Friday, claiming that North Korea had launched numerous suspected short-range ballistic missiles. Seoul characterized the incident as involving “several flying objects presumed to be short-range ballistic missiles” from North Korea’s eastern Wonsan region into waters off its shore.

According to the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul, the missiles flew roughly 300 kilometers (186 miles). Since then, the South Korean military has “increased vigilance and surveillance in preparation for additional launches,” and it is exchanging intelligence with partners in Washington and Tokyo.

North Korea has lately conducted a series of increasingly sophisticated tests, including launches of cruise missiles, tactical rockets, and hypersonic weapons. The nuclear-armed nation maintains the tests are part of an attempt to improve its defenses.

Seoul and Washington have accused North Korea of transferring weaponry to Russia, violating various UN sanctions imposed on both nations. According to experts, the recent series of testing may have involved weaponry meant for deployment on Ukrainian battlefields.

The launches came only hours after Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, accused Seoul and Washington of “misleading the public opinion” by alleging Pyongyang is shipping weapons to Moscow for use in Ukraine.

On the same day, Kim went to a military manufacturing plant and called for “more rapidly bolstering the nuclear force… without halt and hesitation,” according to a KCNA report on Saturday. According to North KCNA, Kim stated that “the enemies would be afraid of and dare not play with fire only when they witness our state’s nuclear combat posture.”

This incident highlights the continued tensions on the Korean Peninsula, as well as the larger regional security implications of North Korea’s missile and nuclear development.

Source: AFP

Last Updated:  Jun 3, 2024 5:01 PM