North Korea fired “an unidentified projectile” on Sunday to the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan, according to the South Korean military. Its about seventh military rehearsal in 2022 from North Korea, which had not conducted so many weapons tests in a month since 2019, just after negotiations between its leader, Kim Jong Un, and then-US President Donald Trump failed.
“North Korea fired an unidentified projectile into the East Sea,” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. Japan’s coast guard also noted the detection of “a possible ballistic missile” from North Korea.
Since the collapse of talks with Trump, negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington were stalled and the country has sunk economically due to international sanctions and a self-imposed foreign blockade to protect the population from the coronavirus.
this very week, Pyongyang made two missile tests, and has carried out another four this month, added those that he defined as hypersonic missiles on January 5 and 11.
On Friday, state media released images of Kim Jong Un, wearing his usual long black leather jacket, visiting – along with other officials – a munitions factory that, according to these reports, was producing “an important weapons system”.
In a speech to the party in December, Kim reaffirmed his intention to move forward with modernizing his arsenal, and in January his regime hinted at a resumption of nuclear weapons and intercontinental missile tests that he had halted in 2017.
The first tests practiced this year led the United States to expand the sanctions regime against Pyongyang which, however, responded by further intensifying its missile launches.
This series of tests comes at a delicate time for the region. Kim’s main ally, China, is preparing to open the Winter Olympics in Beijing in a few days and South Korea holds presidential elections in March. While internally, North Korea is preparing to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Kim’s father’s birth in February. the late Kim Jong Il, and the 110th birthday of his grandfather, the country’s founder Kim Il Sung, in April.
Some experts also indicate the need for the regime to promote positive propaganda towards its society which, according to some reports, would be facing a growing famine and a strong inflation of food products.