North Korea has reportedly test-fired two projectiles that fell into the Sea of Japan, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) reported early on Monday. The type of missile is so far unknown.
The projectiles were reportedly fired from a missile launch site in North Korea’s eastern coastal town of Wonsan.
In a brief statement following the reported missile test, which is said to have taken place on Monday afternoon local time, the South Korean military said it was keeping an eye on the situation “in case of additional launches” and is “maintaining a readiness posture.”
If confirmed, Monday’s test would be Pyongyang’s first of the year, and the first in over three months.
The previous launch was on November 28, when the South Korean military reported that its reclusive neighbor fired two projectiles, presumably “from a super-large caliber multiple rocket launcher.”
News of the launch comes after a senior North Korean diplomat said in January that there would be “no reason” for Pyongyang, which has been abiding by a self-imposed moratorium on long-range missile and nuclear tests, to stand by its commitments unless Washington lifts the “most brutal and inhuman sanctions.”
North Korea previously set a year-end deadline for the US to change its arm-twisting approach to negotiating after de-nuclearization talks in Stockholm in October faltered, with Pyongyang slamming the US’ position as “sickening.”
With negotiations stalled, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un warned in December that his country will continue to build up its nuclear deterrent unless Washington gives up its “gangster-like demands,” while threatening to take “shocking actual action” if the US keeps dragging its feet.