Pyongyang fires projectile hours after warning of ‘stronger’ action

(Update 1: Adds new missile test, new headline and lede, minor edits)

Seoul, Jan 14 (EFE).- North Korea fired an unidentified projectile eastward on Friday, the South Korean military announced, hours after Pyongyang warned of “stronger and certain reaction” following new sanctions imposed by the United States.

The brief statement from Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff did not provide further information on the launch, but Japan’s government said it could be a ballistic missile.

On Jan. 5 and 11, the North Korean regime fired what it claims were hypersonic missiles, although Seoul and Tokyo have insisted in their analyses that they were ballistic missiles that show great maneuverability.

Friday’s launch comes hours after Pyongyang warned it would take “stronger and certain reaction,” in response to the United States imposing new sanctions over its missile tests.

Pyongyang’s “recent development of a new-type weapon” was part of its modernization of its “national defense capability,” and did not target a specific country, nor did it “do harm to the security of the neighbouring countries,” a spokesman for its foreign ministry said in a statement published by the official Korean Central News Agency on Friday morning.

The administration of President Joe Biden on 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, adding that its “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 a number of new weapons since nuclear talks with the US stalled after their failed Hanoi summit in February 2019. EFE


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