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North Korea: Tactical guided missiles fired in latest test

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North Korea: Tactical guided missiles fired in latest test

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North Korea says it conducted a test-fire of ‘tactical guided missiles’ in its fourth round of missile launches this month

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea said Tuesday it had conducted a test-fire of “tactical guided missiles,” a day after South Korea’s military detected the North launching two ballistic missiles into the city. Wed.

Monday’s test was North Korea’s fourth round of missile launches this month and the second since its Foreign Ministry warned of stronger and more explicit action after the Biden administration imposed new sanctions last week against the North’s continued arms demonstrations.

Some experts say North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is reviving Pyongyang’s old tightrope playbook to extract concessions from Washington and its neighbors as he grapples with a slumping economy and difficulties related to the pandemic. Economic setbacks have left Kim little for his diplomatic efforts with the United States, which were derailed in 2019 after the Americans rejected North Korea’s demands for major sanctions relief in exchange for a partial transfer of its nuclear capacities.

North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency said the test was aimed at evaluating missiles that were already being manufactured and deployed. KCNA said the missiles “precisely” hit a marine target to confirm the system’s “accuracy, safety and effectiveness”.

The report did not specify which missiles were. Kim Dong-yub, a professor at the University of North Korea Studies in Seoul, said state media photos suggest the North tested a short-range weapon that looks similar to the military’s tactical missile system. US Army MGM-140.

First tested in 2019, the missile is part of North Korea’s expanding short-range weaponry that experts say aims to crush missile defenses in North Asia. Its missile launches on Friday were for another short-range weapon apparently modeled after Russia’s Iskander mobile ballistic system.

These missiles, which are potentially nuclear-capable, are designed to be maneuverable and fly low, which theoretically gives them a better chance of evading and defeating missile defense systems.

Park Won Gon, a professor at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, said the development and mass production of such short-range weapons by the North is a key part of the country’s efforts to cement its status as a nuclear power in the world. hope of extracting the economic concessions which it sorely needs. rivals.

The North has so far rejected overt offers from the Biden administration to resume talks, saying Washington must first drop what Pyongyang perceives as “hostile” policies.

Even if negotiations resume, it may not be possible to entirely withdraw all of the short-range weapons that North Korea has already produced. Kim Jong Un is clearly trying to convert diplomacy with Washington into an arms reduction negotiation between nuclear states and rejects any process that would result in a unilateral surrender of arms which he sees as his best guarantee of survival, Park said.

Last week, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on five North Koreans for their role in obtaining equipment and technology for North Korean missile programs in response to the first North Korean tests of a alleged hypersonic missile.

The State Department has ordered sanctions against another North Korean, a Russian, and a Russian company for their broader support of North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction activities. The Biden administration has also said it will pursue additional UN sanctions for the North’s continued testing.

North Korea: Tactical guided missiles fired in latest test

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