Thursday, June 20, 2024

North Korea confirms missile launch

North Korea confirmed on Saturday that it had test-fired a tactical ballistic missile, according to the government news agency KCNA. Leader Kim Jong Un pledged to enhance the country’s nuclear capabilities.

Kim supervised the test-launch on Friday into the East Sea (Sea of Japan) to assess the “accuracy and reliability” of a new autonomous navigation system, KCNA reported.

Kim expressed “great satisfaction” with the test.

The South Korean government reported the launch on Friday, stating that North Korea had fired multiple suspected short-range ballistic missiles.

Seoul described the incident as involving “several flying objects presumed to be short-range ballistic missiles” from North Korea’s eastern Wonsan area into nearby waters.

The missiles traveled approximately 300 kilometers (186 miles), according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul. The military has “strengthened vigilance and surveillance in preparation for additional launches” and is sharing information with allies in Washington and Tokyo.

This launch is the latest in a series of increasingly sophisticated tests by North Korea, which has recently launched cruise missiles, tactical rockets, and hypersonic weapons as part of its effort to enhance its defenses.

Seoul and Washington have accused North Korea of supplying arms to Russia, violating numerous U.N. sanctions on both countries. Experts suggest that the recent wave of testing might involve weapons intended for use in Ukraine.

The launches occurred shortly after Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, accused Seoul and Washington of “misleading public opinion” with their repeated claims that Pyongyang is sending weapons to Moscow for use in Ukraine.

On the same day, Kim Jong Un visited a military production facility and urged for “more rapidly bolstering the nuclear force… without halt and hesitation,” according to a KCNA report on Saturday.

“The enemies would be afraid of and dare not to play with fire only when they witness the nuclear combat posture of our state,” KCNA quoted Kim Jong Un as saying.

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