North Korea continues wave of missile launches with fourth weapons test this month

Jan 17, 2022: North Korea has fired two suspected short-range ballistic missiles into the sea in its fourth weapons test this month, the South Korean military said, as Pyongyang continues its wave of missile launches despite condemnation from the UN.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday that the North may have fired two ballistic missiles from Pyongyang’s Sunan airport, but did not immediately say how far they flew.

The Japanese government also announced the launch, calling it a threat to peace and security in the region. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida instructed his government to make every effort to gather information about the launch and to ensure the safety of aircraft and vessels.

Japan’s Coast Guard has warned ships traveling around Japanese waters to beware of falling objects, but no immediate damage was reported. The Coast Guard later said North Korea’s missile was believed to have already landed, but did not say where.

North Korea has launched several launches since the beginning of the year, announcing last week the successful test of a hypersonic weapon observed by leader Kim Jong Un. He also fired two missiles from a train on Friday.

Nuclear-armed Pyongyang is banned by the United Nations from testing ballistic weapons, and nuclear disarmament talks have stalled since 2019, when Kim and former US President Donald Trump met with North Korea. A summit meeting ended with demands for easing sanctions.

North Korea’s foreign ministry on Friday slammed the United States for imposing new sanctions on Tests, accusing Washington of “confrontationalism.” The United States is urging the United Nations to take strong action against North Korea over its latest weapons test.

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