Pyongyang tests new long-range cruise missile
Third missile test of the year for the communist regime. Analysts say Korea not testing ballistic missiles to avoid provoking the United States. The US Indo-Pacific Command and South Korea monitor the situation.
Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) - North Korean state media today reported the testing of a new type of long-range cruise missile over the weekend. During the test, which took place without the presence of leader Kim Jong-un, missiles "traveled over the territory and waters" of North Korea and "hit targets 1,500 km away," according to the Korean Central News Agency (Kcna).
According to UN Security Council resolutions, Pyongyang is prohibited from using ballistic technology. Cruise missiles, on the other hand, are not subject to sanctions because they are considered a lesser threat. However, cruise missiles fly at low altitude and are more difficult to detect, and experts say they could also carry nuclear warheads. According to analysts, the communist regime wanted to demonstrate its military strength by not provoking the United States too much.
The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said the test poses a threat to the region and beyond. "We are aware of reports of DPRK cruise missile launches. We will continue to monitor the situation and are consulting closely with our allies and partners," the command said in a release. DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. "This activity highlights DPRK's continuing focus on developing its military program and the threats that poses to its neighbors and the international community. The U.S. commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea and Japan remains ironclad," it added.
The chief of staff of the South Korean Joint Forces confirmed that a thorough analysis is underway in collaboration with U.S. intelligence, but declined to report details, including where the test was conducted and whether they were able to detect the launches in advance.
Last weekend's is North Korea's third missile test this year and was carried out after the communist regime held a military parade to mark the 73rd anniversary of the country's founding. The country is suffering from a major food crisis and has closed its borders since the pandemic outbreak in early 2020.