The announcement comes after North Korea conducted three missile tests in ten days, including two of what they call hypersonic missiles. The previous test took place on Friday, then probably by two short-range missiles, according to South Korea.
The rocket is said to have landed in the Sea of Japan. The Japanese Defense Ministry tweets that it could be a ballistic missile. The Japanese Coast Guard has urged vessels off the coast to be alert for things that fall from the sky, but no damage has been reported to either boats or planes.
On Wednesday, the United States announced new sanctions against North Korea after the tests. North Korea called the sanctions a “provocation”, and thus responded with a new missile test two days later. North Korea has a “legitimate right” to self-defense, a spokesman for the country’s defense ministry told the state news agency KCNA.
Possible UN sanctions
The United States will also propose UN sanctions, according to UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield. She has not specified what kind of sanctions are in question. The proposal must be formally considered by the 15 member states of the UN Security Council, and a decision there must be unanimous.
The last time the Security Council adopted sanctions against North Korea’s nuclear weapons program was in 2017. At that time, the Trump administration won approval for a number of economic sanctions against the country.
These sanctions remain active and prevent North Korea from importing oil. In addition, they have ensured that the country can no longer export coal, iron, seafood and textiles to the rest of the world.
Holds on to the escalator
Despite the severe sanctions, North Korea continues to arm itself, while refusing to respond to US invitations to dialogue.
The country’s leader Kim Jong-un swore at a summit in the country’s Communist Party in December to continue the rearmament.