North Korea test-fires most powerful missile since 2017
North Korea conducted its most powerful missile test since 2017, increasing the firepower for its record-breaking seventh launch this month.
North Korea tested its most powerful missile since 2017, increasing the firepower for its record-breaking seventh launch this month.
Pyongyang has never tested this many missiles in a single calendar month before, with last week seemingly putting an end to a nearly five-year-long self-imposed moratorium on long-range and nuclear weapons testing.
North Korea has doubled down on Kim Jong-Un's pledge to modernize the country's armed forces, flexing Pyongyang's military capabilities despite international sanctions.
South Korea said on Sunday that North Korea appeared to be following a "similar pattern" to 2017, when tensions on the peninsula were at an all-time high, and that Pyongyang could soon resume nuclear and intercontinental missile tests.
Intermediate-range ballistic missile
South Korea's military announced Sunday it had "detected an intermediate-range ballistic missile fired at a lofted angle eastward towards the East Sea." A lofted trajectory involves missiles being fired at a high angle instead of out to their full range.
Sunday's ballistic missile was estimated to have reached a maximum altitude of 2,000 kilometers and flown for half an hour at a speed of 800 kilometers, Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff reported.
According to Joseph Dempsey, an analyst with the International Institute for Strategic Studies, this indicated Pyongyang may have tested its "first Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) since 2017."
Pyongyang last tested a missile like this in 2017, when the Hwasong-12 flew 787 kilometers at an apogee of just over 2,111 kilometers.
Analysts estimated at the time that the missile could have flown around 4,500 km if launched on a range-maximizing ballistic trajectory, putting the US territory of Guam within range.
Hirokazu Matsuno, Japan's top government spokesman, said on Sunday that the ballistic missile was "intermediate-range or longer-range."
Pyongyang has conducted two hypersonic missile tests this month, as well as four short-range ballistic and cruise missile launches.
Jan 27 - North Korea launched two suspected ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan, the sixth round of weapons launches this month, according to South Korea's military.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea said the weapons, which were likely short-range, were launched from an eastern coastal area, but it didn't specify how far they flew.
Jan 25-Yonhap news agency reported, citing South Korean military sources, that North Korea has fired two cruise missiles into the sea off its east coast
Jan 17- North Korea launched two suspected ballistic missiles into the sea, making it the fourth launch amid stalled dialogue with the US and Covid-related border restrictions.
According to a statement by the Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea, the missiles were launched four minutes apart, most likely launched from a region near Suhan, which is home to Pyongyang's international airport. The statement added that they traveled approximately 380 kilometers at a height of 42 kilometers and landed in the country's northeast waters.
Jan 15- North Korea launched two tactical missiles from railway-based systems, according to the state-run KCNA news agency.
"A firing drill for checking and judging the proficiency in the action procedures of the railway-borne missile regiment of North Phyongan Province took place on Friday," KCNA reported.
Jan 11- South Korea's military said that North Korea fired a suspected ballistic missile into the sea, less than a week after Pyongyang reported testing a hypersonic missile.
Jan 6- According to state news agency KCNA, North Korea successfully tested a hypersonic missile this week, as the country seeks new military capabilities amid stalled denuclearisation talks.
Sept 29- North Korea test-fired a newly designed hypersonic missile, according to state news agency KCNA.
Last week, state media photographed Kim Jong-Un inspecting an "important" munitions factory that manufactures "a major weapon system."