North Korea reportedly fired at least one projectile into the East Sea on Wednesday, several days after it reportedly tested newly developed long-range missiles, according reports.
South Korea’s Yonhap News claimed Wednesday that the communist country to the north had fired two projectiles, which it identified as ballistic missiles. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff were conducting an analysis of the situation, Yonhap reported.
But The Associated Press was reporting that only one projectile had been fired and the AP did not identify it as a ballistic missile. The AP also claimed South Korea’s military was its source.
According to the AP, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the North Korean projectile flew toward the waters of the Korean Peninsula’s east coast on Wednesday. It gave no further details.
Wednesday’s development followed reports Monday of North Korean missile tests that occurred over last weekend – tests that ended a yearlong pause in the nation’s testing of projectiles, the AP reported.
North Korea said Monday it tested a newly developed cruise missile twice over the weekend. North Korea’s state media described the missile as a “strategic weapon of great significance,” implying they were developed with the intent to arm them with nuclear warheads.
Many experts say the North Korean test suggested North Korea is pushing to bolster its weapons arsenal amid a deadlock in nuclear diplomacy between Pyongyang and Washington.
The latest launch came as Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was in Seoul for meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and other senior officials to discuss the stalled nuclear diplomacy with the North.
Talks between the United States and North Korea have stalled since 2019, when the Americans rejected the North’s demand for major sanctions relief in exchange for dismantling an aging nuclear facility. Kim’s government has so far rejected the Biden administration’s overtures for dialogue, demanding that Washington abandon its “hostile” policies first.
The North’s resumption of testing activity is likely an attempt at pressuring the Biden administration over the diplomatic freeze after Kim failed to leverage his arsenal for economic benefits during the presidency of Donald Trump.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.