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North Korea launches another ballistic missile- 4th in a week; no one likely to do anything

Kim Jong Un overseeing North Korea's new tactical guided weapon system test in April 2022. (Korean Central News Agency/Released)
October 05, 2022

North Korea launched another missile into the Sea of Japan just two days after sending a ballistic missile flying over Japan. The launch is the second in three days and the fourth since Sept. 28.

South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported at around 6:20 a.m. on Thursday morning (local time) that the South Korean military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed a new ballistic missile launch from the North.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s office also issued a warning about the new missile launch.

South Korean officials described the North Korean weapon as an unspecified ballistic missile.

Early on Tuesday morning, North Korea fired a ballistic missile that flew over Japan before landing in the Pacific Ocean. The missile test set off alarms in Japan and prompted Japanese officials to order citizens to shelter in place.

On Sept. 28 — the day before Vice President Kamala Harris was due to visit the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that separates North and South Korea — North Korea launched two missiles.

This latest launch makes 24 North Korean missile launches this year.

In a Tuesday press statement, White House National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson Adrienne Watson condemned North Korea’s first missile launch this week:

The United States strongly condemns the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) dangerous and reckless decision to launch a long-range ballistic missile over Japan. This action is destabilizing and shows the DPRK’s blatant disregard for United Nations Security Council resolutions and international safety norms. Tonight, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke with his Japanese and Republic of Korea (ROK) counterparts, Secretary General Akiba Takeo of the National Security Secretariat of Japan and National Security Office Director Kim Sung-han of the ROK. In both calls, the National Security Advisors consulted on appropriate and robust joint and international responses and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan reinforced the United States’ ironclad commitments to the defense of Japan and the ROK. The United States will continue its efforts to limit the DPRK’s ability to advance its prohibited ballistic missile and weapons of mass destruction programs, including with allies and UN partners.

On Wednesday, U.S. and South Korean forces conducted their own ballistic missile tests in response to North Korea’s. U.S. and South Korean forces successfully launched four MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) tactical ballistic missiles into the ocean off their east coast.

South Korea’s military launched another Hyunmoo-2C ballistic missile from Gangneung Airbase, located near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that separates North and South Korea. That missile launch was not successful and saw the missile fall back to the ground in a fiery explosion. Videos of the failed missile launch circulated across social media on Wednesday.