Four days before the presidential elections in South Korea and at the same time as the start of the plenary session of the Chinese People’s Congress, dictator Kim Jong-un has once again demonstrated his unpredictability.
North Korea has again fired at least one suspected ballistic missile, according to its neighbors South Korea and Japan.
After launching near the capital Pyongyang on Saturday morning, the missile flew towards the open sea in the east, the South Korean armed forces’ general staff said.
UN resolutions prohibit North Korea from testing such missiles, which, depending on the design, can also carry a nuclear warhead.
The country had already tested several missiles this year, including a nuclear-capable medium-range missile.
How far the rocket flew in the most recent test was initially unclear.
The missile fell outside of Japan’s “exclusive economic zone” in the Sea of Japan (Korean: East Sea), as reported by the Kyodo news agency, citing the government in Tokyo.
In South Korea, as is usual in such cases, the National Security Council met to discuss the situation.
The new rocket launch by the self-declared nuclear power North Korea took place just four days before the presidential election in South Korea.
After a series of missile tests in January, the government in Seoul accused the isolated neighboring country of wanting to stoke new tensions on the Korean peninsula.
South Korea fears that North Korea could soon again test an ICBM that could potentially reach the United States.
The country is developing ballistic missiles of various ranges capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
To the chagrin of comrades in China
In addition, the current test overshadowed the start of this year’s plenary session of the Chinese People’s Congress in Beijing.
The fact that North Korea’s ruler Kim Jong Un chose the start of the session in Beijing for his new military provocation is likely to cause irritation in the big neighbor China.
North Korea resumed missile testing last Sunday after a four-week break.
A day later it spoke of an important test for the development of an earth observation satellite.
Cameras for a new reconnaissance satellite should therefore be checked.
Experts have been speculating for a long time that North Korea could also use the escalating Ukraine conflict to put more pressure on the United States to submit concrete proposals for new negotiations.
The US government’s talks with Pyongyang over its nuclear weapons program have been at a standstill for three years.