Seoul, South Korea:
North Korea has fired an “unidentified projectile,” the South Korean military said Monday, in what would be the nuclear-armed country’s fourth weapons test this month.
Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said, “North Korea has fired an unidentified projectile into the Baltic Sea,” referring to the Sea of Japan.
The Japanese Coast Guard also confirmed the launch.
“North Korea appears to have launched a possible ballistic missile,” a Coast Guard spokesman told AFP without giving details of a possible trajectory.
The launch would be Pyongyang’s fourth weapons test this year.
North Korea fired two tactically guided missiles on Friday. It also said it tested hypersonic missiles on January 5 and 11.
In response to the string of launches, the United States last week imposed new sanctions on the nuclear-armed country — what Pyongyang said was a “provocation”.
North Korea has a “legitimate right” to self-defense, a foreign ministry spokesman told KCNA.
Despite harsh international sanctions over its weapons programs, Pyongyang has redoubled its efforts to modernize its military while refusing to respond to US calls for talks.
At a key meeting of the ruling North Korean party last month, Kim pledged to continue building the country’s defense capabilities.
Dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang remains stalled, and impoverished North Korea is also under a rigid self-imposed coronavirus lockdown that has hammered its economy.
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