Published:  10:56 AM, 11 January 2022

North Korea fires 'suspected ballistic missile'

North Korea fires 'suspected ballistic missile'

North Korea fired a "suspected ballistic missile" into the sea, South Korea's military said Tuesday, less than a week after Pyongyang reported testing a hypersonic missile.
The early-morning launch came as the UN Security Council met in New York to discuss last week's test of what Pyongyang called a hypersonic missile.
"Our military detected a suspected ballistic missile fired by North Korea from land towards the East Sea at around 7:27 a.m. today," Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.
The launch was also reported by Japan's coast guard, which said the North had fired a "ballistic missile-like object".
On Monday, six countries, including the United States and Japan, urged North Korea to cease "destabilising actions" ahead of the UN Security Council closed-door meeting.
France, Britain, Ireland and Albania joined the call for North Korea "to refrain from further destabilizing actions... and engage in meaningful dialogue towards our shared goal of complete denuclearization."
Analysts said Pyongyang might have timed the latest launch to coincide with the UN meeting.
"The launch has political and military motives," Shin Beom-chul, a researcher at the Korea Research Institute for National Strategy, told AFP.
"North Korea continues testing to diversify its nuclear arsenal, but it timed the launch on the day of the UNSC meeting to maximise its political impact," he added.
The frequency of testing indicated Pyongyang could be fitting in the launches ahead of the Beijing Olympics next month, said Park Won-gon, a professor at the Ewha Womans University in Seoul.
North Korea has been barred from the Beijing Winter Olympics after skipping the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Games over Covid-19 concerns.

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