North Korea Fires Unidentified Projectile Toward East Sea in Latest Launch - South Korean JCS

© AP Photo / Ahn Young-joonA man watches a TV screen showing an image of North Korea's ballistic missile launched from a submarine during a news program at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021
A man watches a TV screen showing an image of North Korea's ballistic missile launched from a submarine during a news program at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.01.2022
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North Korea has maintained a unilateral moratorium on testing long-range ballistic missiles since April 2018, but tested a variety of other shorter-range weapons it says aren't barred by United Nations resolutions.
Less than a week after what it said was the country's second hypersonic missile test, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has reportedly fired another projectile into the Sea of Japan, according to South Korean and Japanese defense officials.
The projectile has not yet been identified, but was noted by the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff as a possible ballistic missile launch. A hypersonic glide vehicle like that tested last week also begins its flight atop a rocket booster, but soon detaches to glide unpowered toward its target instead of following a standard ballistic trajectory.
Japanese officials said the projectile landed outside the country's exclusive economic zone. The government reportedly formed a crisis response center in response to the launch.
On Monday, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield criticized the DPRK's recent missile test, saying they "increase the risks of miscalculation and escalation and pose a significant threat to regional stability."
"Our goal remains complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. We are prepared to engage in and support serious and sustained diplomacy to that end. It is the DPRK that now must choose dialogue and peace over its unlawful and threatening weapons program," she added. The UN Security Council met shortly afterward to discuss the launch in a closed-door hearing.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby also said on Monday that the US was still assessing last week's test, adding that regardless of whether it was a traditional ballistic missile or hypersonic weapon, it "continues to be in violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions and we certainly call on the DPRK to abide by those obligations and those responsibilities and to look for ways to deescalate."
According to the DPRK's Korean Central News Agency, the January 5 test demonstrated the glide vehicle's ability to maneuver as well as its high degree of accuracy in striking the target. It also showed the rocket's fuel ampoule system could operate under harsh wintry conditions.
The US has long sought to force the DPRK to give up its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs by imposing crushing economic sanctions. Pyongyang says it needs the weapons to guarantee its security in the absence of a permanent peace treaty ending the Korean War, which began in 1950 and only ended with a ceasefire in 1953. It has said it will give up its nuclear weapons if the US removes its sanctions and its 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea, but the Biden administration says it will not begin talks with the DPRK without prior guarantees about North Korean denuclearization.
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