N.Korea Fires Suspected Ballistic Missile

      February 28, 2022 10:08

      North Korea on Sunday resumed its flurry of missile launches after a monthlong break.

      The provocation came 10 days before South Koreans head to the polls to elect a new president as all eyes are on Russia's invasion of Ukraine and may have been a cry for attention as international attention is slipping.

      The Joint Chiefs of Staff here said the suspected ballistic missile was fired from the Sunan area of Pyongyang into the East Sea at 7:52 a.m. It traveled around 300 km and reached an altitude of around 620 km.

      The North conducted seven missile launches in January alone but took a break during the Winter Olympics in Beijing, apparently out of respect for its sole ally China.

      North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (left) points during a meeting with secretaries in Pyongyang on Feb. 26, in this grab from [North] Korean Central Television the following day.

      Officials in emergency meeting of the National Security Council at Cheong Wa Dae immediately after the launch voiced "strong regret" and said it is improper for the North to launch a missile at a time when the international community is trying to resolve the Ukraine crisis.

      But although the launch is a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions, Cheong Wa Dae once again refrained from labeling it a "provocation." Instead, it urged the North to return to talks.

      The North on Monday claimed that it conducted a "rocket test" as part of plans to develop surveillance satellites. It said it mounted surveillance cameras on the rocket to film the ground and the cameras will be used for the satellites it is developing. It released images of Korean Peninsula it claimed were taken from space.

      But long-range rocket tests are widely thought to be a camouflage for intercontinental ballistic missile programs because they use the same technologies.

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