N. Korea confirms test-firing of KN-24; Kim Jong-un not in attendance
Updated: 2022-01-18 17:09:30 KST
North Korea confirmed on Tuesday that it test-fired what it appears to be the regime's KN-24 missile the previous day, the regime's version of a U.S. army tactical missile system.
The North's state media reported the Academy of Defense Science staged the launch to confirm the accuracy and efficiency of the weapons system under production, meaning the North will expand the weapons production.
Experts say the latest round of missiles clearly indicates the current U.S. pressure, such as blacklisting of six North Koreans for their involvement in the North's weapons programs, won't stop Pyeongyang from testing missiles.
But they also note that such missile activity may not continue into February.
"It's a pressure tactic for North Korea as an ally of China to continue conducting missile tests right before the Beijing Winter Games. They won't keep up this tempo of missile launches."
Plus, it's necessary for the North to consider internal difficulties.
"The North is also highlighting improving people's livelihoods, so it might control the speed of weapons development."
Since Monday's launch was neither for unveiling a new weapon nor staging a final test-launch, leader Kim Jong-un was not in attendance, for what's already the fourth show of force of the new year.
The test-firing of the KN-24 on Monday marked the fourth launch of its kind following two in August 2019 and one in March 2020, which the leader Kim Jong-un did attend.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.