N Korea fires guided missiles, flouts new sanctions

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Monday’s firing from Pyongyang appears to underscore the North’s evolving capabilities to launch missiles from various platforms, including trains, subsurface assets and land-based facilities….reports Asian Lite News

North Korea said it had conducted a test launch of tactical guided missiles on January 17, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported, citing the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The report said two tactical guided missiles fired in the western part of North Korea precisely hit an island target in the Sea of Japan.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) of South Korean military said it detected the projectiles fired from the Sunan airport at 8.50 a.m. and 8.54 a.m., respectively, and that they flew about 380 km at an altitude of 42 km, reports Yonhap News Agency.

“For more specific information, the intelligence authorities of South Korea and the US are conducting a detailed analysis,” the JCS said in a statement without further details.

The latest firing came just three days after the North launched two suspected short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea that it later claimed to be guided missiles fired by a railway-borne regiment during a firing drill.

Monday’s firing from Pyongyang appears to underscore the North’s evolving capabilities to launch missiles from various platforms, including trains, subsurface assets and land-based facilities.

Last week, Pyongyang warned of a “stronger and certain reaction” to the US’ recent imposition of fresh sanctions on six North Koreans involved in the regime’s weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs.

The North also test-fired its self-proclaimed hypersonic missile on January 5 and 11, ratcheting up tensions amid an impasse in nuclear negotiations with the US.

South Korea’s military is monitoring related North Korean movements and maintaining a firm readiness posture, the JCS said.

Last week, Pyongyang issued the warning after Washington slapped the sanctions on six North Koreans involved in the regime’s weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the US Indo-Pacific Command said that it is aware of the missile launches, but assessed they do “not pose an immediate threat to American personnel or territory or to our allies”.

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