Seoul, January 15
North Korea said on Saturday it tested ballistic missiles from a train, in what was seen as a clear retaliation against new sanctions imposed by the Biden administration.
North state media reports come a day after South Korea’s military said it had detected two missiles fired from the north into the sea in its third weapons launch this month.
The launch comes hours after Pyongyang’s foreign ministry issued a statement from the United States imposing new sanctions on the North’s previous tests and warning of stronger and more explicit action if Washington maintains its “confrontational stance”. . Gave.
North Korea has been ramping up testing of new missiles designed to bolster missile defenses in the region in recent months amid pandemic-related border closures and a halt in nuclear diplomacy with the United States.
Some experts say North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is going back on tried-and-true technology to pressure the United States and neighbors into missile launches and abusive threats before offering talks to make concessions.
North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency said Friday’s exercise was aimed at checking the alert posture of its army’s rail-borne missile regiment. Soon after the missile was ordered to be tested, troops arrived at the launch site and fired two “tactical guided” missiles that hit sea targets with precision, the report said.
The North’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper published pictures of two separate missiles flying over rail cars covered in smoke.
Cheong Seong-chang, an analyst at the private Sejong Institute in South Korea, said the North may have staged a launch it had not previously planned to demonstrate its opposition to US sanctions.
The missiles fired from rail cars appear to be a solid-fuel short-range weapon, which the North has apparently modeled after Russia’s Iskander mobile ballistic system. Tested for the first time in 2019, the missile is designed to maneuver and fly at low altitudes, potentially improving its chances of destroying and defeating missile systems.
North Korea first launched these missiles in September last year as part of its efforts to diversify its launch options, which now include various vehicles and eventually submarines that will be used by the country in pursuit of such capabilities. depend on the progress. Maybe. AP