Sunday, May 29, 2022

North Korea test-firing 2 cruise missiles, South Korea raises alarm

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North Korea was believed to have fired at least two cruise missiles on Tuesday, the South Korean Armed Forces General Staff has said.

The launches, believed to be a test, were set to be evaluated in more detail with the United States (U.S.), the South Korean military said.

It was initially unclear how far the missiles flew and where they landed.

This would mark the fifth missile test conducted by North Korea since the beginning of the year.

A week ago, North Korea fired two missiles eastwards toward the sea from Sunan Airport in the capital Pyongyang, according to the South Korean army.

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They were believed to be short-range ballistic missiles.

That launch came after the U.S. Treasury Department imposed fresh sanctions against the regime in Pyongyang, specifically targeting five North Koreans accused of procuring goods for their country’s mass destruction and missile programmes.

Following the sanctions, North Korean state media, KCNA, reported that the country’s Workers’ Party Politburo had held a meeting and ordered a reconsideration of confidence-building measures, as well as resuming all temporarily suspended activities.

Experts saw this as an allusion to North Korea’s own 2018 test ban on long-range missiles and nuclear weapons.

There have long been fears abroad that Pyongyang could resume its nuclear tests.

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Kim already declared in late 2019, as progress stalled in U.S. negotiations with North Korea, that Pyongyang no longer considered itself bound in principle by its testing moratorium.

UN resolutions prohibit North Korea from testing ballistic missiles, some types of which are capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

Unlike ballistic missiles, cruise missiles are not subject to sanctions.

dpa/NAN

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