North Korea conducts first missile test since US President Joe Biden took office. South Korean Armed Forces civilians announced Wednesday that two short-range missiles had been fired during an arms test on North Korea’s west coast.
Biden underestimated the test. When asked by reporters if the test would be seen as provocative, Biden said in Washington on Tuesday evening (local time): “No … everything is normal.
UN Resolutions prohibit North Korea from testing self-proclaimed nuclear ballistic missiles, which may carry nuclear weapons depending on their design. However, the test of ship missiles is not subject to sanctions against the country. Unlike ballistic missiles, ship missiles have their permanent driver.
It was not immediately clear how far the two guided missiles flew Sunday. It was the country’s first known missile test since April last year. The test appears to be part of the North Korean Armed Forces’ winter exercise, citing a military representative from the South Korean news agency Yonhap.
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The test came after joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States Armed Forces. The nine-day command training, which did not include field training, ended last week on Thursday. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s influential sister Kim Yoo Jong has condemned military exercises and accused the new US administration of wanting to cause trouble in the first place.
During a visit to Seoul last week, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called on China to increase its influence over the government in Pyongyang over the controversy over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
The US government is working with South Korea and other allies to formulate a new North Korean policy. A full review of the policy, including options, is almost complete, a senior government official said. Washington has no “illusions about how difficult it will be” about its diplomatic efforts with North Korea.
North Korea has been pursuing its missile program for many years. The focus is on the development of ballistic missiles. In addition, the isolated country is developing other armed organizations, including guided weapons. Negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington over the North Korean nuclear program have not progressed for two years. (dpa)