Seoul — North Korea conducted its largest missile test since 2017 on Sunday, analysts said. After the Japanese and South Korean governments reported suspicions of ballistic missile launches.
A South Korean co-staff reported that a projectile, believed to be a single ballistic missile, was launched from Chagang, North Korea, toward the sea off the east coast at around 7:52 am local time.
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno said in a television briefing that if the projectile was a standard ballistic missile, it would reach an altitude of 2,000 kilometers and fly to a distance of 800 kilometers for 30 minutes.
Chagan was the site of two launches this month, what North Korea called a “hypersonic missile,” and was able to reach high speeds while flying and maneuvering at relatively low altitudes.
Analysts said Japan’s estimates, if confirmed, could indicate one of North Korea’s largest missile tests in years.
North Korea has not tested the longest intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) or nuclear weapons since 2017, but the country’s rulers suggestion This month they were able to resume their activities.
According to missile experts, this data may also show tests for intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs) such as the Hwasong-12, which was last tested in 2017. The IRBM range is typically 600-3,500 miles, but the ICBM range is over 3,500 miles. Miles.
“Whether it’s an IRBM or an ICBM, it’s a kind of strategic missile, and it’s clearly not the same as the previous tests in the January 2022 series of test series,” said the Center for Non-Diffusion Research. Adjunct professor George William Herbert said. The missile consultant said on Twitter.
Despite strict sanctions banning North Korea’s ballistic missile testing and UN Security Council resolutions, the launch could make January the busiest ever for North Korea’s missile program, analysts said. ..
“All signs suggest that this is a major test. It may not have worked as well as the previous North Korean ICBM, but it may have been deliberately flown in a more limited orbit.” Said Chad Ocarol, CEO of the South Korean risk group that oversees North Korea.
Testing will take place within a week of the opening of the Winter Olympics in North Korea’s major political and economic partner, Beijing. Pyongyang said it would skip the tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic and “hostile forces”.
Josh Smith and Cynthia Kim