North Korea’s “sequence” of missile tests, the fourth of which occurred this month, prompted trilateral discussions between Japan, South Korea, and the United States on Monday.
This is the latest in a string of missile tests by the DPRK this month, according to a statement from U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price.
Infringement of Resolutions
According to Price, Kim reaffirmed that North Korea’s activities were in infringement of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions banning the nation from participating in ballistic missile operations.
He also called on North Korea to halt its “unlawful, disrupting activities” and relaunch dialogue with the international community.
Monday's test was North Korea's fourth ballistic missile launch in under two weeks. By contrast, it took the North 10 months to conduct that many ballistic missile tests last year. https://t.co/WR7p9rH9kd
— NPR (@NPR) January 18, 2022
In a reversion to more traditional diplomatic techniques, the United States said it was offering an “open discussion” with “no strings attached.”
When it comes to responding to Pyongyang’s disruptive activities, representatives from three allied countries (US, Japan, and South Korea) agreed tight cooperation would be maintained.
According to reports from Japan and South Korea, North Korea fired two alleged long-range missiles into the East Sea from the Sunan Airfield on Monday, marking the fourth launch this month.
As a result of the demonstrations, North Korea released its first public statement on Tuesday.
They are claiming to have fired two “tactical guided missiles” to check the precision of their defense system. This system is now in development, according to Pyongyang’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
In a statement released by the regime’s official media mouthpiece, the regime claimed “two strategic guided missiles fired from the western area of Pyongyang accurately hit an island destination in the East Sea of Korea.”
Per the Japan Times, Japan’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday it thinks the alleged short-range missile systems were a solid-fuel kind identified as the KN-24, which Pyongyang demonstrated in March 2020.
"We strongly condemn the series of North Korean actions.”
North Korea test-launched 2 suspected ballistic missiles Monday in its 4th rocket volley this year. Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary @MatsunoHirokazu says Tokyo is investigating the launch https://t.co/UeVLEdhmqe #北朝鮮 pic.twitter.com/rBh1haMYao
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) January 17, 2022
Becoming Increasingly Worrying
Previously, Pyongyang claimed two further missile tests it conducted on January 5 and January 11 were “hypersonic” missiles, which contradicted previous assertions.
These nuclear tests led the Biden administration to apply its first sanctions against Pyongyang on January 12 and request the United Nations Security Council ban several North Korean people and organizations.
On January 14, North Korea conducted another nuclear test, this time launching two strategic guided missiles from a train, which was preceded by another nuclear test on January 15.
Before the ballistic missile, North Korea’s Foreign Affairs Ministry published a statement in which it chastised the United States for placing sanctions on the country. North Korea also threatened a “stronger” response if the United States maintained its “aggressive” approach.
According to a briefing by the United Nations’ spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, the North’s nuclear weapons testing on Monday is becoming “progressively concerning.”
She has, therefore, called on all parties to resume direct talks to defuse tensions and encourage a “very verifiable nuclear disarmament of the Korean Peninsula.”