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Pyongyang’s another missile firing next day after Washington’s new sanctions

Pyongyang’s another missile firing next day after Washington’s new sanctions

Posted January. 15, 2022 07:47,   

Updated January. 15, 2022 07:47


North Korea on Friday fired ballistic missiles, presumably, over the East Sea off Jagang Province only three days after it test-fired an ultrasonic missile faster than sound speed by up to 10 times in the same region with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un present on the site. Such a provocative act from Pyongyang’s side is interpreted not only as a warning toward Washington that it will carry out a tit-for-tat strategy against U.S. President Joe Biden’s first sanctions on the regime but also as a pretext designed to signal a fiercer provocation later.

Two projectiles, which were assumed to be ballistic missiles, were found flying over the East Sea off Jagang Province at around 2:45 p.m. on Friday, according to the South Korean military authorities.

North Korea already executed ultrasonic ballistic missile launches around the area in question last Wednesday and this Tuesday. It has carried out provocations even three times in the specific region in less than half a month since the turn of the year. At around 2:55 p.m. on Friday, Japan’s Defense Ministry and Maritime Safety Agency also issued a warning for ships and vessels around the East Sea, the East China Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, announcing that North Korea flew up projectiles that were presumed to be ballistic missiles.

“The recent three missile launches were carried out in the morning. It seemingly intends to show off its military capabilities to make the missiles easily noticeable daytime,” said a military source.

The launch on Friday came only half a day after the North Korean Foreign Affairs Ministry criticized the Biden administration for putting in practice new sanctions for the regime. “Washington raised an issue of our reasonable acts at the United Nations Security Council to make a fuss on an accusatory tone,” said a spokesperson of the North Korean Foreign Affairs Ministry on Friday morning in a statement issued on the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). “As if things weren't bad enough, it issued unilateral sanctions to make the status quo only worse. We cannot help but respond more obviously and clearly.”

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com · Jin-Woo Shin niceshin@donga.com