North Korea fired what appear to be two cruise missiles from an inland area into the sea, South Korea’s military said Tuesday, in what would be the regime’s fifth launch of the year.
The military did not release an official statement about the missiles but said in a background briefing with local media that it was still conducting an analysis of the launch.
Tuesday’s launch comes on the heels of four ballistic missile tests over the first weeks of 2022, including a pair of what Pyongyang are hypersonic weapons.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un also suggested last week that the country may resume intercontinental ballistic missile and nuclear tests, as international alarm grows over the secretive state’s increasingly bellicose posture.
The Pentagon said Monday that it was “very clear about our concerns over the advancing nuclear ambitions and ballistic missile capabilities of Pyongyang.”
“We continue to condemn it and to call on the North to cease these provocations and to abide by international law and these Security Council resolutions and to try to find ways to deescalate the tensions,” spokesman John Kirby said at a press briefing.
Washington unilaterally imposed sanctions on several North Korean individuals over the tests and last week led a call for the U.N. Security Council to add to the sanctions. However, the proposal was blocked by Russia and China.
The cruise missile launch on Tuesday is not in violation of Security Council resolutions, which prohibit the North from engaging in any ballistic missile activities.
North Korea tested a new long-range cruise missile in September, which it called “a strategic weapon of great significance.”