South Korea Reports Multiple North Korean Missile Launches

( – South Korean officials said the nation of North Korea conducted another round of missile launches on January 27. They report missiles having flown over waters near one of South Korea’s larger military shipyards off the east coast of the peninsula. This latest launch continues a streak by the North Koreans that adds to a rapidly deteriorating relationship between them, South Korea, Japan and the United States.

Two Saturday’s prior on January 14th, the North Koreans test-fired solid-fuel intermediate-range ballistic missiles, the first deployments of this sort of missile in the history of the dictator-led nation. Kim Jong Un has long desired to increase and strengthen his country’s armaments so that it could eventually be able to overtake South Korea’s missile defense systems. Should he achieve this goal, the missile defenses of Japan and remote island U.S. targets may likewise be compromised.

The South Korean authorities have yet to give specific launch details but the country’s Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed the launch over the port of Sinpo. Future information releases could reveal whether they were launched from water or land and how far they traveled.

In response to the North Korean missile testing both American and Japanese forces are joining the South Korean military in expanded joint exercises. Kim Jong Un has been using these joint defensive exercises to accuse the three countries of conspiring together to practice what he calls invasion rehearsals.

The North Koreans have stated that their new cruise missiles are part of a larger strategic plan, which could indicate an intention to arm them with nuclear capabilities. They are also developing and may already have intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States.

The launches around South Korea are not forbidden under any United Nations treaty or sanctions but are acknowledged to pose a threat to both Japan and South Korea. These missiles are built and designed to fly like small low-flying aircraft that can avoid radar detection and strike with surprise.

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