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North Korea reportedly fires unidentified projectile toward east sea

(Sputnik) -- The May launch marks the 14th such incident in 2022, and comes shortly after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un underscored the importance and need for the country to strengthen its military power against nuclear threats.
North Korea fired an unidentified projectile toward the East Sea early Wednesday, local outlet Yonhap reported, citing South Korean military officials.
Preliminary findings released by the Japanese Ministry of Defense have indicated that the projectile is suspected to be a ballistic missile.
Details regarding the distance the projectile traveled or whether the launch was deemed successful have not been made available. Kyodo News has detailed that the projectile may have plummeted outside the Japanese exclusive economic zone.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff relayed to Yonhap that the projectile had been launched from the Sunan area in Pyongyang at about 12:03 p.m. local time.
The test-firing comes weeks after North Korean officials participated in the March 24 launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile, which authorities said was the Hwasong-17. However, Seoul officials later disputed the assertion and indicated that the March launch was actually a Hwasong-15 missile.
To date, the May launch marks the 14th such case in 2022, with the last taking place on April 16.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un earlier vowed during a military parade that officials would be working toward ensuring North Korea’s military is able to successfully counter any nuclear threats from hostile actors. He further noted that Pyongyang would use its nuclear arsenal if its interests are threatened.
Long-range missile and nuclear testing had previously been halted after Kim met with former US President Donald Trump and agreed to a self-imposed moratorium. However, amid rising tensions in recent years, Pyongyang has resumed testing.

(Latest Update May 5, 2022)

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