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North Korea Test-Launches Another Missile As World Focuses On Ukraine Crisis

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Sunday, Feb 27, 2022 - 03:32 PM

North Korea resumed missile testing on Sunday following a pause during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games. The latest is a suspected mid-range ballistic rocket, according to Bloomberg

Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi told reporters in Tokyo the suspected ballistic missile reached a maximum altitude of around 385 miles and flew 186 miles before splashing down in the waters outside Japan's exclusive economic zone. 

South Korea's military said the ballistic missile launch occurred at 0752 local time near Pyongyang's main airport on the waters off its east coast. 

Weapon experts told Bloomberg the missile's flight path was unusual and indicated the likely test of a medium-to-intermediate range ballistic missile. 

The launch comes two weeks before South Korea holds a presidential election. It also comes days after Russia invaded Ukraine, and Washington is preoccupied with bolstering NATO.  

"A confluence of these events -- the Ukrainian situation, South Korea's leadership transition period between now and the new president's inauguration in May, and the shifting global dynamics involving the U.S., Russia, and China -- make it extremely difficult to come up with and impose a coordinated response to North Korea, even if it were to resume intercontinental ballistic missile test-launches or nuclear tests," Rachel Minyoung Lee, a non-resident fellow with the 38 North Program at the Stimson Center. 

"This lays the perfect ground for Pyongyang to test its new weapons and continue to make advancements in its nuclear and missile technology," said Lee. 

North Korea's last test was on Jan. 30, firing a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile, capped a record month of missile firings. 

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command was aware of Sunday's missile test. 

"The United States condemns this launch and calls on the DPRK to refrain from further destabilizing acts," it said in a statement.

Pyongyang appears to have an ambitious schedule of missile launches this year and has chosen not to stay quiet. 

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