North Korea fired what seemed to be two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast on Thursday, the sixth round of missile tests this month, according to South Korea’s military.
Analysts say it’s among the most rockets North Korea has ever launched in a month, as Pyongyang has begun 2022 by demonstrating a dizzying variety of new and functioning weaponry.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea announced it had detected the launch of two ballistic missiles about 8 a.m. On the east coast of North Korea, near Hamhung, it’s local time. They flew for roughly 190 kilometers and reached a maximum altitude of 20 kilometers, according to JCS.
According to Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, the alleged missiles looked to have landed outside of Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
Fumio Kishida, Japan’s prime minister, said the government is currently gathering information on the launches, but that any tests of ballistic missiles are highly regrettable and in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
North Korea announced this month that it would beef up its defenses against the US and consider resuming all temporarily halted activities, an apparent reference to a self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests.
North Korea has not launched or tested long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) or nuclear weapons since 2017, but it has begun testing a plethora of shorter-range missiles after denuclearization discussions with the US stopped in 2019.