North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had already announced in April his decision to advance in the development of nuclear forces. Photo: AP
North Korea continues with the provocations and this Sunday is done eight test shots of ballistic missiles short range to the sea. The Pyongyang weapons show has been interpreted by US and South Korean officials as an operation that could culminate in a nuclear test explosion.
South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff said the missiles were fired over a 35-minute period from locations including the Sunan region near the capital Pyongyang. He has not yet indicated where the missiles were launched from or how far they have traveled, but said the South Korean military has increased its vigilance in case North Korea fires more missiles.
Meanwhile, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi reported that his country’s military has detected at least six launches between 300 and 400 kilometers from inside North Korea and from points on the east and west coast.
The Japanese official interpreted the North Korean forces as an assessment of their ability to launch in rapid succession from various locations. None of the missiles fell within Japan’s exclusive economic zone, the minister said.
The launches came a day after the United States and South Korea concluded theirs joint naval exercises which lasted three days in the Philippine Sea and in which the US aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan participated. The exercises were the first between the two countries with an aircraft carrier since November 2017 after they decided to upgrade their defense maneuvers in the face of growing threats from North Korea.
This is the eighteenth round of missile tests North Korea has conducted in 2022 alone – a series that included the country’s first ICBM demonstrations in nearly five years – as it continues to leverage a favorable environment to develop weapons in the face. to divisions in the Security Council over Russia’s war against Ukraine.
Experts say North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s high-risk policy aims to force the United States to accept the idea that North Korea is a nuclear power and to negotiate economic and security concessions from a position of strength.
US and South Korean officials say there are signs that North Korea is continuing with the prepared at its atomic test site in the northeastern city of Punggye-ri.
North Korea has launched eight missiles and tensions are mounting in the region. Photo: EFE
North Korea’s next nuclear test would be the seventh since 2006 and the first since September 2017, when it claimed it detonated a thermonuclear bomb that can be mounted on its ICBMs.
On Friday, US President Joe Biden’s special envoy for North Korea, Sung Kim, said Washington is “prepare for any eventuality” in close coordination with South Korea and Japan, monitoring North Korea’s preparations for a possible nuclear test.
Kim held a trilateral meeting with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts in Seoul to discuss the nuclear crisis with Pyongyang.
Nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have been stalled since 2019 due to disagreements over the removal of crippling US-led sanctions against North Korea and measures to disarm North Korea.
With AP information