In 2022, North Korea undertakes its seventh alleged missile test
North Korea launched the missile three days after firing two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea
North Korea launched at least one suspected ballistic missile into the sea on Sunday (January 30, 2022), the 7th round of weapons launches this month, in an apparent attempt to put pressure on the Biden administration over long-stalled nuclear talks.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea did not immediately specify if the weapon was ballistic or how far it flew.
The Japanese Defense Ministry and Prime Minister's Office stated the weapon was likely a ballistic missile, but didn't elaborate.
North Korea launched the missile three days after firing two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea.
On Tuesday, the North conducted a flight test of two alleged long-range cruise missiles, while threatening to enhance its nuclear 'war deterrent' and develop more powerful weapons.
In recent months, North Korea has increased its testing activity, with seven rounds of weapons launches so far in 2022, showcasing its military power amid pandemic-related hardships and a lengthy pause in nuclear diplomacy with the US.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is revisiting Pyongyang's old playbook of brinkmanship to win concessions from Washington, which heads international sanctions over the North's nuclear programme, while quickly expanding his military capabilities despite limited resources.
Experts believe the North will put an end to its testing frenzy once the Beijing Winter Olympics begin next week, out of respect for China, its most important ally and economic lifeline.
However, once the Olympics conclude in February, the North is expected to considerably up the ante in armament demonstrations in order to attract the attention of the Biden administration, which has been focusing more on confronting China and Russia over Ukraine's war.
Senior party members voiced a veiled threat to resume testing of nuclear explosives and long-range missiles targeting the American heartland, which Kim postponed in 2018 while commencing talks with the US, during a ruling party meeting chaired by Kim on January 20.
In 2019, Kim's talks with then-President Donald Trump came to a halt after the Americans turned down North Korea's proposals for massive sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear weapons.