Friday, October 22, 2021

North Korea fires projectile into eastern sea

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korea fired an unidentified projectile off its east coast on Wednesday, the South Korean military said, two days after North Korea claimed to have tested a new missile in its first weapons test. in six months.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the North Korean projectile flew into the waters off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula on Wednesday. He did not elaborate and it was not clear what the projectile was.

North Korea said Monday that it tested a newly developed cruise missile twice over the weekend. North Korean state media described the missile as a “strategic weapon of great importance”, implying that it was developed with the intention of arming it with nuclear warheads.

Many experts say the North Korean test suggested that North Korea is pushing to beef up its weapons arsenal amid a stalemate in nuclear diplomacy between Pyongyang and Washington.

The latest launch came when Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was in Seoul to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and other senior officials to discuss stalled nuclear diplomacy with North Korea. .

Talks between the United States and North Korea have stalled since 2019, when the Americans rejected North Korea’s demand for major sanctions relief in exchange for the dismantling of a former nuclear facility. The Kim administration has so far rejected the Biden administration’s proposals for dialogue, demanding that Washington first abandon its “hostile” policies.

North Korea’s resumption of test activity is likely an attempt to pressure the Biden administration for a diplomatic freeze after Kim failed to exploit his arsenal for financial gain during Donald Trump’s presidency.

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