North Korea tested tactical guided missiles on Monday, says KCNA

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The missile test was the North’s fourth in 2022, with two previous launches involving “hypersonic missiles” capable of high speed and manoeuvring after liftoff, and another test on Friday using a pair of SRBMs fired from train cars. — Reuters pic
Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - The missile test was the North’s fourth in 2022, with two previous launches involving “hypersonic missiles” capable of high speed and manoeuvring after liftoff, and another test on Friday using a pair of SRBMs fired from train cars. — Reuters pic

SEOUL, Jan 18 — North Korea fired tactical guided missiles yesterday, state media KCNA said today, the latest in a series of recent tests that highlighted its evolving missile programmes amid stalled denuclearisation talks.

The missile test was the North’s fourth in 2022, with two previous launches involving “hypersonic missiles” capable of high speed and manoeuvring after liftoff, and another test on Friday using a pair of SRBMs fired from train cars.

South Korea’s military had said North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) from an airport in its capital Pyongyang, which flew about 380 km (236 miles) to a maximum altitude of 42 km (26 miles).

The Academy of Defence Science conducted a test of tactical guided missiles from the country’s west, and they “precisely hit an island target” off the east coast, the official KCNA news agency said, without elaborating.

“The test-fire was aimed to selectively evaluate tactical guided missiles being produced and deployed and to verify the accuracy of the weapon system,” KCNA said.

It “confirmed the accuracy, security and efficiency of the operation of the weapon system under production.”

The unusually rapid sequence of launches has drawn US condemnation and a push for new sanctions while Pyongyang warns of stronger actions, raising the spectre of a return to the period of “fire and fury” threats in 2017.

Both sides were engaged in a flurry of diplomacy in 2018 but denuclearisation negotiations stalled and slipped back into a standoff following a failed summit in 2019.

North Korea used the Sunan airport to test-fire the Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) in 2017, with leader Kim Jong-un in attendance.

Kim did not attend the latest test. — Reuters

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