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North Korea fires short-range missile into East Sea

Posted September. 29, 2021 07:21,   

Updated September. 29, 2021 07:21


North Korea fired a short-range missile on Tuesday, three days after Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said North Korea would consider having an inter-Korean summit if South Korea stopped calling North Korea’s missile launch a provocation. The South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae expressed “regret” over the missile launch unlike 13 days ago when it called North Korea’s ballistic missiles fired from a train a “provocation.”

Twenty minutes after the missile launch, North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations Kim Song demanded that the U.S. permanently end joint military exercises with South Korea and the deployment of its strategic weapons during his address to the U.N. General Assembly in New York. Pyongyang is now playing both the dialogue and provocation cards to deal with Seoul, which is trying to restore inter-Korean relations in the final months of President Moon Jae-in’s term, and Washington, which is maintaining sanctions against North Korea.

The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Tuesday that North Korea fired a short-range missile into waters off the east coast from Mupyeong-ri, Jagang Province at around 6:40 a.m. Mupyeong-ri is the same location that the North test fired Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in 2017. South Korean and U.S. intelligence authorities believe the fired missile could be a new type of weapon, such as a hypersonic glide vehicle.

In an emergency National Security Council meeting on Tuesday, Cheong Wa Dae expressed regret over the fact the missile was fired at a time when political stability on the Korean Peninsula was very critical. The Ministry of Defense did not reveal whether the missile fired by the North was an ICBM, which is violation of the U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Jin-Woo Shin niceshin@donga.com