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News

North Korea Missile Testing

todayFebruary 1, 2022 12

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North Korea Missile Testing

By Hannah Dunbar

 

North Korea has been testing their missiles all throughout the month of January. On Sunday, January 30 at 7:52 a.m, the country launched their 7th missile test. It is the longest-range ballistic missile test since 2017.

 

The Hwasong-12 is one of the deadliest missiles in North Korea. This missile has an estimated maximum range of 4,500 kilometers, which is 2,800 miles. The missile reached an altitude about 2,000 km which is 1,243 miles. It flew in the air for approximately 30 minutes or so and covered over 500 miles of ground. The missile flew over Japan, and landed in the Pacific Ocean east of the island nation. 

 

It was confirmed by North Korea that the missile is capable of reaching the United States territory of Guam. The purpose of the Hwasong-12 missile was to test its overall accuracy. Photos of this missile have actually been captured from outer space and can be found online. 

 

The Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary, Hirokazu Matsuno states “The repeated launches of ballistic missiles threaten the peace and security of our country, the region, and the international community.” He further claims that Japan has made a strong protest against North Korea. 

 

The goal is to boost and modernize the country’s military as stated by the North Korean Leader, Kim Jong Un. It was also confirmed that the country is going to lift a self-imposed 4-year moratorium on testing nuclear bombs and intercontential ballistic missles. Under the UN sanctions, North Korea is banned from conducting these sorts of tests. 

 

In 2019, there was a summit between the former U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un; however, that has collapsed since then. Due to the pandemic, these nuclear negotiations have been stalled. It is theorized by analysts that the North is trying to pressure the Biden administration to return to negotiations. 

 

The Biden Administration stated that they’re willing to talk with North Korea, but the only response that they’ve gotten is these current missiles. They have launched more missiles in the past month than they have in the previous year. The U.S. condemns these actions of North Korea and finds them to be unlawful. 

 

These launches are also happening right before the Winter Olympics, which is taking place in Beijing, China on February 4.  It may or may not be a coincidence but it could also potentially affect the Olympics as a result. 

 

The South Korean President, Moon Jae-in has said that North Korea’s launch is “a challenge to the international community’s efforts to ensure peace on the Korean peninsula”. South Korea is also having their presidential election in March. 

 

“The United States condemns these actions and calls on (North Korea) to refrain from further destabilizing acts,” said the U.S. military’s Indo-Pacific Commander makes a statement regarding the issue.

 

The first missile launched by North Korea was on January 5, second on January 10, third and fourth on January 15, and the fifth and sixth ones on January 25. Every test so far has been deemed as “successful”. North Korea says it needs its arsenal to defend against a U.S. invasion as they believe the U.S. is “hostile”. With these constant tests, it seems like they will not be slowing down anytime soon. 

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