Seoul, Jan 14 (EFE).- North Korea test-fired two short-range ballistic missiles on Friday, the South Korean military said, hours after Pyongyang warned of “stronger and certain reaction” to new sanctions by the United States.
The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) estimated that the North fired the short-range missiles toward the east from a site in North Pyongan Province.
The missiles flew at an altitude of 36 km, covering around 430 km, said the military.
The Japanese government also confirmed that North Korea fired a ballistic missile.
Kyodo news agency citing an unnamed government source said the projectile appeared to have landed in waters outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone into the Sea of Japan (called the East Sea in the two Koreas).
It was the third North Korean weapons test in the last nine days.
On Jan. 5 and 11, the North Korean regime fired what it claimed were hypersonic missiles.
Seoul and Tokyo insist that the projectiles were ballistic missiles, showing great maneuverability.
Friday’s launch comes hours after Pyongyang warned it would take a “stronger and certain reaction,” in response to the US imposing new sanctions over its missile tests.
Pyongyang’s “recent development of a new-type weapon” was part of the modernization of its “national defense capability,” a foreign ministry spokesperson said in a statement published by the official Korean Central News Agency on Friday morning.
The spokesperson said the defense upgrade “did not target a specific country, nor did it “harm the security of the neighboring countries.”
The administration of President Joe Biden Wednesday imposed its first sanctions over North Korea’s weapons program following Pyongyang’s “six ballistic missile launches since September 2021, each of which violated multiple United Nations Security Council Resolutions.”
The US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, has indicated that Washington is pressing for the UNSC to impose additional sanctions on North Korea.
“The US is intentionally escalating the situation even with the activation of independent sanctions, not content with referring the DPRK’s just activity to the UN Security Council,” the statement said.
“(The) accusation of the DPRK’s legitimate exercise of the right to self-defence is an evident provocation and a gangster-like logic.”
It added the US move “shows that though the present US administration is trumpeting about diplomacy and dialogue, it is still engrossed in its policy for isolating and stifling the DPRK.”
“If the US adopts such a confrontational stance, the DPRK will be forced to take stronger and certain reaction to it,” it warned.
North Korea has been testing several new weapons since nuclear talks with the US stalled after their failed Hanoi summit in February 2019. EFE