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North Korea fires salvo of short-range ballistic missiles, Seoul says

North Korea fired shots a salvo of ballistic missiles à short range to the Sea of ​​Japan, said the South Korean army attacked on Monday, the latest in a series of tests carried out by Pyongyang since the start of the year .

The launch comes after Pyongyang's ally Russia last month suspended monitoring of UN sanctions against the nuclear-armed country.

The South Korean military said Monday it had detected the launch of “several short-range ballistic missiles” from the Pyongyang region.

These missiles traveled approximately 300 kilometers before crashing into the waters east of the Korean Peninsula.

< p>“This missile launch is a blatant provocation that threatens the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula,” South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said, stressing that the army stood “fully prepared” for this. threat.

Tokyo also confirmed the launch. Japanese government spokesperson Yoshimasa Hayashi said one of the missiles reached a maximum altitude of 50 kilometers and landed outside the country's exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

North Korea fires salvo of short-range ballistic missiles, Seoul says

Archive footage of a North Korean missile launch on a television screen at a Seoul train station on April 22, 2024. © AFP – Jung Yeon-je

This launch comes after the dissolution of the UN sanctions monitoring system against North Korea and its nuclear program, due to a veto by Russia in the UN Security Council .

Russia vetoed a draft resolution in March extending for one year the mandate of the committee of experts responsible for monitoring these sanctions.< /p>

Pyongyang has been the subject of a series of UN sanctions since 2006 which have been reinforced several times subsequently, but has nevertheless continued to develop its nuclear and weapons programs.

– “Very large” warhead tested –

This shot is the second in less than a week by Pyongyang.

North Korea announced on Friday that it had tested a “very large” warhead designed for a strategic cruise missile.

Unlike ballistic missile launches, cruise missile tests are not prohibited by current United Nations sanctions against North Korea.

Cruise missiles are typically jet-powered and fly at a lower altitude than more sophisticated ballistic missiles, making them more difficult to detect and intercept.

North Korea could test cruise missiles before sending them to Russia for use in its war in Ukraine, analysts have warned.

According to Hong Min, an analyst at the Korea Institute for National Unification, said Pyongyang's recent launches indicate that North Korea is trying to develop its technical capabilities.

North Korea fires salvo of short-range ballistic missiles, Seoul says

North Korea's missile launches © AFP – Paz PIZARRO, Olivia BUGAULT, Nicholas SHEARMAN

“Today's launch also appears to be part of its weapons development program that requires testing,” he told AFP.

Washington and Seoul say North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shipped weapons to Moscow, which would fall under UN sanctions.

Pyongyang has sent around 7,000 containers of weapons to Moscow for use in Ukraine, according to South Korean authorities.

North Korea has recently strengthened its defense ties with Russia, its traditional ally.

The reclusive country has also intensified its firing tests, claiming in early April to have tested a new medium-to-long-range solid-fueled hypersonic missile.

Since the beginning of the year, the country has called South Korea its “main enemy” , closed agencies dedicated to reunification and inter-Korean dialogue and threatened to go to war for any violation of its territory “even by 0.001 millimeter”.

Last year, the country carried out a record number of missile tests.

In 2022, Pyongyang declared its status as a nuclear power “irreversible “.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was in Seoul last month, will return to the region this week for his second visit in less than a year in China.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116