SEOUL — North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast on Friday, the South Korean military said. It was the latest provocation from the North, which has pledged to increase its nuclear and missile capabilities to counter Washington and Seoul.
Both missiles were fired from Sunan district in the capital Pyongyang, South Korean defense officials said, adding that they were analyzing test data to learn more about the missiles.
North Korea launched at least 92 ballistic and other missiles in 2022, more than any previous year. Each was in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions that prohibit the country from testing ballistic missiles, as well as nuclear devices. Below is a summary of launches made by North Korea since January 2022, according to data from North Korean state media and the South Korean military.
A new ICBM appears to be in development
Two short-range ballistic missiles fired on December 23 | Two at medium range on December 18
On Dec. 16, North Korea tested what it called a new high-thrust rocket engine that used solid fuel in an effort to boost its capabilities. Two days later, it launched what the South Korean military called two medium-range ballistic missiles from the same site where the new rocket engine was tested. North Korea has claimed it is testing technologies to place a military spy satellite into Earth orbit.
South Korean officials are analyzing the data to determine if the tests have anything to do with the North’s efforts to build a solid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missile. Such a missile would be easier to transport and conceal, and faster to launch – and therefore more difficult to intercept – than the North’s existing ICBMs, which all rely on liquid fuel.
Kim Yo-jong, the sister and spokeswoman of northern leader Kim Jong-un, warned on December 20 that the country could launch a missile on a full range of ICBMs for the first time in the country’s history. . Experts have questioned whether North Korea has the technology to do it the full trajectory – entering space and recrossing Earth’s atmosphere to reach its target. Ms. Kim threatened to dispel those doubts.
A next-generation ICBM is tested
A Hwasong-17 ICBM fired on November 18 | Six ballistic missiles, including an ICBM, on November 3 | At least 29 short-range ballistic missiles and other missiles on four different days
November was the busiest month for North Korean missile testing in 2022, with at least 46 ballistic and other missiles launched, half of them on November 2 alone. One of the missiles fired that day flew over the inter-Korean maritime border and landed in waters off South Korea’s east coast, triggering an airstrike alert on a populated island. In response, the South fired three air-to-surface missiles across the border into waters near North Korea.
North Korean missile tests
The North capped its weapons activities in November by testing the Hwasong-17, its newest and most powerful ICBM, on November 18. The missile was launched at a deliberately steep angle, high into space. Flight data indicated that if launched at a normal angle, the missile could theoretically reach anywhere in the continental United States.
A missile flies over Japan
An intermediate-range ballistic missile launched on October 4 | Two “long-range strategic cruise missiles” on October 12 | Nine short-range ballistic missiles on five different days
In the fall, South Korea, the United States and Japan stepped up joint military exercises to bolster their deterrence against North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile threat. At the same time, North Korean missile testing has become increasingly provocative. On October 4, North Korea fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile that flew over northern Japan, setting off alarms and prompting residents to take cover. On October 12, he launched what he called two “long-range strategic cruise missiles” which he said were deployed on units using “tactical nuclear weapons”. He also claimed to have rehearsed the launching of “nuclear warheads” at “the main military command facilities of the enemy” during tests carried out on October 6.
First test from an underwater silo
Five short-range ballistic missiles launched on three different days
As the US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan sailed to the waters off the Korean Peninsula for joint military exercises with South Korea and Japan in September and October, North Korea began testing ballistic missiles at short range. He said one test simulated launching a nuclear missile from an underwater silo; another repeated the launching of “nuclear warheads” at airports in South Korea.
North rejects overtures from South Korea
Two cruise missiles fired on August 17
North Korea fired two cruise missiles off its west coast, two days after South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol made what he called a “bold” proposal to the North. Mr Yoon said South Korea would immediately start providing economic incentives if the North entered into serious negotiations to denuclearize. North Korea called it “simple” and “childish”.
The United States and its allies respond to provocations
Eight short-range missiles fired on June 5
Eight short-range ballistic missiles were fired from four different locations in North Korea. The missiles flew between 68 and 416 miles to the east. Over the next two days, South Korea and the United States conducted live-fire missile drills and joint air force drills to counter the North’s escalation.
Biden’s trip triggers a volley of missiles
A ballistic missile launched by a submarine fired on May 7 | Seven more ballistic missiles on three different days
North Korea launched three ballistic missiles on May 25 as President Biden returned home from a visit to South Korea and Japan. The first missile was thought to be an ICBM fired at a reduced range, covering a distance of only 224 miles. In response, the United States and South Korea each fired a ballistic missile during a counter-military exercise.
North Korea tests new weapon
Two short-range ballistic missiles fired on April 16
North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast in April. He later indicated that the “New Type Tactical Guided Weapon” had been developed as a means of delivering “tactical nuclear weapons”.
One of the most powerful ICBM launches
An ICBM launched on March 24 | A failed ICBM test on March 16 | A ballistic missile on March 5
North Korea said on March 5 it launched a rocket as part of its effort to send a reconnaissance satellite into space. But South Korean and US officials said the North was testing a Hwasong-17 ICBM. All tests of the Hwasong-17 were unsuccessful, with a rocket exploding shortly after liftoff. On March 24, a missile soared 3,850 miles into space in one of the most powerful ICBM launches in the North.
North Korea tests ICBM technology
A ballistic missile fired on February 27
A projectile departed from Sunan district in Pyongyang and flew 300 km east in February. North Korea said the launch was part of its preparations to place a reconnaissance satellite in Earth orbit. But South Korean and US officials said the North was testing a Hwasong-17, its latest generation ICBM.
A new year begins with provocations
An intermediate-range ballistic missile fired on January 30 | Eight cruise or short-range ballistic missiles on four different days | Two “hypersonic” missiles over two days
North Korea started the year with a series of short-range ballistic missile tests, including “hypersonic” missiles and some launched from train cars. On January 27, it launched its Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile. The missile was first tested in 2017. This time, the North said it had chosen one at random to test from several Hwasong-12s “produced and deployed” by the North Korean military.