Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Home Covid-19 North Korea fires 2 suspected cruise missiles into sea, Seoul military officials...

North Korea fires 2 suspected cruise missiles into sea, Seoul military officials say

North Korea on Tuesday test-fired two suspected cruise missiles in its fifth round of weapons launches this month, South Korean military officials said, as it displays its military might amid pandemic-related difficulties and a prolonged freeze in nuclear negotiations with the United States.

One official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing department rules, said South Korean and U.S. intelligence officials were analyzing the launches, but didn’t provide further details. Another military official, who requested anonymity over similar reasons, said the tests were conducted from an inland area, but didn’t specify where.

North Korea has been increasing its testing activity recently in an apparent effort to pressure the Biden administration over the stalled diplomacy after the pandemic unleashed further shock on an economy broken by crippling U.S.-led sanctions over its nuclear weapons program and decades of mismanagement by its own government.

Read more:

North Korea’s latest missile tests a return to provocation, but experts see desperation

Story continues below advertisement

North Korea last Thursday issued a veiled threat to resume the testing of nuclear explosives and long-range missiles targeting the American homeland, which leader Kim Jong Un suspended in 2018 while initiating diplomacy with the United States.

Some experts say North Korea could dramatically escalate weapons demonstrations after the Winter Olympics, which begin Feb. 4 in China, the North’s main ally and economic lifeline.

They say Pyongyang’s leadership likely feels it could use a dramatic provocation to move the needle with the Biden administration, which has offered open-ended talks but showed no willingness to ease sanctions unless Kim takes real steps to abandon the nuclear weapons and missiles he sees as his strongest guarantee of survival.


Click to play video: 'White House condemns North Korea missile launch'







White House condemns North Korea missile launch


White House condemns North Korea missile launch – Oct 19, 2021

Tuesday’s launches could have been followup tests of a weapon North Korea has described as a long-range cruise missile and first tested in September, said Kim Dong-yub, a professor at Seoul’s University of North Korean Studies.

Story continues below advertisement

State media in reports at the time said the missiles were fired from launcher trucks and could strike targets 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) away. It described those missiles as a “strategic weapon of great significance” — wording that implies they were developed to carry nuclear weapons.

While halting the tests of nuclear devices and intercontinental range ballistic missiles, Kim Jong Un since 2019 has been ramping up tests of various shorter-range weapons apparently designed to overwhelm missile defenses in the region.

Experts say the North’s expanding missile arsenal reflects an aim to apply more pressure on its rivals to accept it as a nuclear power in hopes of winning relief from economic sanctions and convert the diplomacy with Washington into mutual arms-reduction negotiations.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Most Popular

Crime Beat podcast: Hope in the darkness

On a beautiful September night in 2008, a young couple went out for dinner in downtown Calgary.They walked through a park on their way...

B.C. dad spreads love, acceptance after only 1 child came to his son’s birthday

A B.C. dad said he hopes that by sharing a recent experience about his son’s birthday party, he can help bring about some change...

Doug Ford defends Ontario election debate ‘cheat sheet’

Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford occasionally referred to a black binder filled with highlighted notes during the Ontario Election leadership debate, which served...

Elon Musk hints at reducing $44B Twitter offer after putting deal on hold

Tesla CEO Elon Musk gave the strongest hint yet Monday that he would like to pay less for Twitter than his $44 billion offer...