Saturday, April 20

North Korea launches a projectile that Seoul considers a “ballistic missile”

North Korea today launched another “unidentified projectile” heading for the Sea of ​​Japan, the South Korean military reported, just six days after testing what Pyongyang described as a new hypersonic missile. “North Korea launches unidentified projectile into the East Sea (name given to the Sea of ​​Japan in the two Koreas),” the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JSC) reported on Tuesday in a brief statement about the launch, which has also been notified by the Japanese Government. On its website, the Japanese Coast Guard considered that “potentially” it would be a ballistic missile and that “probably” it has already fallen into the water -without specifying where-, although at the same time it recommended caution to all vessels in the area .

For its part, the South Korean army also considered today that the projectile just launched by North Korea into the Sea of ​​Japan is a “ballistic missile”. “Our military detected a projectile believed to be a ballistic missile launched by North Korea inland towards the East Sea (called the Sea of ​​Japan in the two Koreas) at around 7.27 today (22.27 GMT). Monday) “, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) detailed in a statement, which at first spoke of an” unidentified projectile. ” “The intelligence agencies of the Republic of Korea (official name of the South) and the US are conducting detailed analyzes to obtain additional information,” the message added.

This test comes just six days after Pyongyang tested another projectile that the regime later described as a new hypersonic missile and that the detection systems of Seoul or Tokyo initially classified as a “ballistic missile”, after initial problems to identify it due to its irregular flight. The North Korean army fired this new missile as a test on January 5, which, according to the regime, traveled about 700 kilometers and was capable of making a 120-kilometer turn. Seoul later deemed these claims “exaggerated” and he assured that, although the projectile showed some of the characteristics of a hypersonic missile, it cannot technically qualify as such and that Pyongyang “has yet to get hold of the technology for a hypersonic flight vehicle.” In any case, the tactical weapons that Pyongyang has been testing since 2019, along with another that it already qualified as its first hypersonic missile and that it tested in September last year (the Hwasong-8), have been difficult to detect with precision for Seoul. , Tokyo or Washington when tracing non-ballistic trajectories that allow to bypass radars and antimissile shields.

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Today’s is North Korea’s second test launch this year and comes ten days after leader Kim Jong-un delivered a speech in which he stressed the need to strengthen the country’s defenses and in which at the same time he avoided sending a conciliatory message to Seoul or Washington. North Korean-American Denuclearization Dialogue Stagnant since the failed Hanoi summit nearly three years ago.

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