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North Korea test-fires missile for 14th time this year

The South Korean military said it detected the launch around noon on May 4 in the Sunan area of ​​Pyongyang. Sunan is where North Korea announced the test of a “new type” intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) – Hwasong-17, on March 24.

Meanwhile, Japan’s coast guard also said North Korea may have launched a ballistic missile, and advised ships to notify if a foreign object was detected in the area and did not approach. it.

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North Korea has continuously tested missiles since the beginning of 2022.

Details of the test such as the missile’s flight range and altitude are not yet available. If confirmed, it would be North Korea’s 14th major weapons test this year.

Information about Pyongyang’s latest missile launch comes a few days before South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol takes office, scheduled for May 10.

Responding to the news that North Korea tested a missile, the South Korean military said: “Our military is maintaining a readiness posture while closely monitoring activities related to further launches.”

The most recent launch came less than three weeks after North Korea fired a new tactical guided weapon on April 16 aimed at bolstering its nuclear capabilities.

Pyongyang has recently ramped up weapons tests, resuming long-range missile launches for the first time since 2017 in March. Officials in Seoul and Washington said Pyongyang may also be preparing for a new nuclear test.

Last week, during a military parade marking the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Army, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un pledged to speed up the development and expansion of the country’s nuclear arsenal.

According to Kim Jong-un, the basic task of Pyongyang’s nuclear force is deterrence, but its deployment “cannot be tied to a single task”.

“North Korea’s nuclear force must always be ready to carry out special missions and demonstrate unparalleled deterrence at all times,” he said. leader Kim Jong-un said.

On May 3, the US mission to the United Nations called for a Security Council meeting and a vote to tighten sanctions on North Korea over its recent weapons tests. However, Russia and China have signaled their opposition to increasing sanctions on Pyongyang.

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