North Korea is said to have fired at least two more missiles. According to the South Korean news agency Yonhap, this was reported by a South Korean military source. It would be the fifth rocket test this year.
According to the source, these are projectiles that “would be stopped without difficulty by our detection and interception systems if fired southward”.
South Korea’s army chiefs of staff report that “North Korea has fired missiles resembling cruise missiles,” without giving more details. The launch circumstances are being analyzed in collaboration with the United States, it is said.
According to South Korean media, the missiles were fired from land and ended up in the sea. Since September last year, North Korea has conducted a cruise missile test. Pyongyang then declared that it had fired a “new type of long-range cruise missile” and called the missile “a very important strategic weapon”.
Cruise missiles are said to be more steerable than ballistic missiles and, according to weapons experts, are more difficult to intercept when flying lower.
The new missile test comes after Pyongyang earlier this month tested the largest number of ballistic missiles since August 2019. On January 17, the country said it fired two tactical ballistic missiles; three days earlier, two missiles were fired from a train. On January 5 and 11, North Korea also reportedly fired hypersonic missiles, which it fears could bypass South Korea’s missile defence systems. However, Pyongyang’s statements about the hypersonic missiles could not be confirmed.
Last week, North Korea also threatened to lift the self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and long-range missiles. United Nations Security Council resolutions prohibit North Korea from conducting ballistic and nuclear missiles tests. However, there are no restrictions on cruise missiles.
China and Russia blocked a draft resolution at the UN Security Council meeting last week that would impose additional sanctions on North Korea after its recent missile launches.