Japan Condemns North Korea Over Suspected Missile Launches

Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Japan Condemns North Korea Over Suspected Missile Launches” – below is their description.

North Korea test-launched two suspected ballistic missiles on January 17 in its fourth rocket volley this year, turning up pressure on the Biden administration with its biggest string of tests since August 2019.

South Korea’s military said North Korea fired what appeared to be two ballistic missiles into waters off its east coast at 8:50 and 8:54 a.m. that flew about 380 kilometers (240 miles), reaching an altitude of 42 km. Japan estimated the two suspected ballistic missiles flew about 300 km and landed in waters outside its exclusive economic zone. North Korea typically doesn’t comment on its launches until a day after the fact.

The tests underscore North Korea’s ability to strike U.S. allies South Korea and Japan, and the new technologies put fresh pressure on all three nations. They could be a way to force the Biden administration to come up with a new strategy toward North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, according to Rand Corp. analyst Soo Kim.

The Biden administration has repeatedly called for Kim to get back to the negotiating table and indicated the U.S. could return to a policy of providing economic rewards in return for disarmament steps. The U.S. is also looking to ratchet up pressure through sanctions, which have drawn bitter rebukes from North Korea in the past.

The tests come after the North Korean leader told a top-level meeting of his ruling party at the end of 2021 that he was more interested in bolstering his arsenal than returning to nuclear disarmament talks with the U.S., which have been stalled for nearly three years.

North Korea last conducted a large series of tests when it was rolling out new solid-fuel, short-range ballistic missiles designed to modernize its arsenal and deliver nuclear warheads to U.S. military bases in all of South Korea.

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