North Korea fired a suspected ballistic missile into its eastern sea on Tuesday, the country's second launch in a week after firing what it claimed to be a hypersonic missile.
The latest projectile was launched from the country’s northern Jagang province and flew 434 miles before landing in waters off the eastern coast, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said, according to The Associated Press.
The launch was detected by South Korea and the Japanese coast guard.
“Our military detected a suspected ballistic missile fired by North Korea from land towards the East Sea,” South Korea's military said, according to the BBC.
The launches follow promises from North Korean leader Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnKim Jong Un won't be ignored: What North Korean missile tests mean The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden clarifies his remarks on Russia Defense & National Security — Biden works to clean up Russia flop MORE to expand the country’s nuclear weapons program.
South Korea added that it and the United States are currently conducting a close analysis of the situation.
North Korea launched what it later claimed to be a hypersonic missile last week. The Tuesday launch was more advanced than the earlier launch, with South Korea saying the weapon traveled at a top speed of around Mach 10 before falling into the sea.
Kim previously promised to bolster the defenses of the country in a meeting in December.
The U.S. issued a joint statement with France, Ireland, Japan, the United Kingdom and Albania in condemnation of last week’s launch.
“We call on the DPRK to refrain from further destabilizing actions, abandon its prohibited WMD and ballistic missile programs, and engage in meaningful dialogue towards our shared goal of complete denuclearization,” the statement said, referring to North Korea by its official name.
Analyst Cheong Seong-Chang at South Korea’s Sejong Institute said the North’s leadership would have been “enraged” by South Korea’s assessment of last week’s launch and may have planned a series of tests to make itself seem more credible.
Air traffic controllers in the Western United States were ordering ground stops at about the same time the second missile was launched, though it was lifted a short time later.
CNN, citing a U.S. official, reported Tuesday that the ground stop was issued for some pilots after an alert about the North Korean launch was issued by the NORAD.
North Korea also conducted a series of weapons tests in 2021.