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North Korea Tests ’Tactical Guided Missiles’ in Latest Military Push
By Staff, Agencies
North Korea said Tuesday it launched two tactical guided missiles, its fourth sanctions-busting test of the year as it seeks to bolster its conventional weaponry while rebuffing offers of talks from the United States.
Since North Korean leader Kim Jong Un avowed his commitment to military modernization at a key party speech last month, the nuclear-armed country has conducted a string of weapon tests, including of hypersonic missiles, AFP reported.
Washington hit Pyongyang with fresh sanctions last week and North Korea responded by doubling down on testing, asserting its "legitimate right" to self-defense.
The most recent weapons test involved two "tactical guided missiles" that "precisely hit an island target in the East Sea of Korea," state news agency KCNA said Tuesday.
The launches "confirmed the accuracy, security and efficiency of the operation of the weapon system under production," KCNA added.
South Korea's military earlier said two suspected "short-range ballistic missiles" were fired east from near Pyongyang Monday, flying 380 kilometers at an altitude of 42 km.
Japan also detected the test, with Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi warning the string of recent launches indicates North Korea "is trying to improve its technology and operational capability."
The launches come at a delicate time in the region, with North Korea's sole major ally China set to host the Winter Olympics next month and South Korea gearing up for a presidential election in March.
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