Why is North Korea launching suspected missiles - and what have countries said so far about the situation?
North Korea has launched its first suspected missile since October, with the move being condemned by many international communities - here’s what you need to know
North Korea has launched a second suspected missile in six days after the first launch drew criticism from the international community.
The move has caused many countries, including South Korea and the US, to condemn the North Korea and its leader Kim Jong-un due to the timing of the launch.
But why did North Korea launch the suspected missile and why are international communities upset by the timing?
Why did North Korea launch a suspected missile?
The first suspected launch of 2022 took place on at around 11.15pm on 4 January, and marks the first test launch in three months.
It comes as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un promised to bolster the countries defences in the wake of stalled peace talks with South Korea and the US.
During an end-of-year ruling party meeting, which marked his first decade in power as Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un stated that Pyongyang would continue to strengthen the military power of the country due to an unstable environment of the Korean peninsula.
Around four days later, the country launch its first suspected missile of 2022, which landed in the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan.
The launch was detected by South Korean and Japanese militaries, with South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff confirming that “South Korean and US intelligence are closely analysing for further detail.”
The second missile launch took place at around 10.27pm on Monday 10 January, with South Korean and Japanese officials confirming that they detected the missile.
This launch came shortly after six countries - including France, Britain, Ireland, Albania, US and Japan - called on North Korea “to refrain from further destabilising actions... and engage in meaningful dialogue towards out shared goal of complete denuclearisation” in a statement made on Monday 11 January.
Why are countries upset at the timing of the launch?
The initial launch took place on a day which was supposedly a step forward in peace talks between North and South Korea.
The Missile was launched hours before South Korean President Moon Jae-in attended a ceremony in Goseong, South Korea for a rail line which aims to eventually connect the Korean peninsula.
The symbolic rail line was hoped to be a step toward peace between the two countries in connecting the divided peninsula, however the missile launch has now clouded the gesture.
Moon Jae-in said: “We should not give up the hope for dialogue in order to fundamentally overcome this situation.
“If both Koreas work together and build trust, peace would be achieved one day.”
What have other countries say about the launch?
According to Reuters, Japanese Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi stated that the suspected “ballistic” missile had travelled around 500km.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said: “We find it truly regrettable that North Korea has continued to fire missiles from last year.”
The US condemned the launch, stating that it violated UN Security Council resolutions which prohibits North Korea from undertaking ballistic and nuclear weapons tests.
A US State Department spokesperson also said that the launch posed a threat to South Korea.
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