South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff announced that two objects believed to be cruise missiles were launched from the east coast of North Korea. This marks the 5th missile test of 2022, at a time when North Korean leader Kim Jong-un promised to support the military with cutting-edge technology while talks with South Korea and the United States have stalled.
The fact that Pyongyang has entered the period of most frequent and intense missile launches since at least 2019, UN Secretary-General António Guterres’s deep concern, has caused the US administration to announce new sanctions.
‘To force Biden to step onto the negotiating table‘
Lee Sang-min, a military expert at the Korea Institute of Defense Analysis, said that North Korean leader Kim‘s missile volley this month may be aimed at creating geopolitical pressure, forcing US President Joe Biden to come to the table with a new strategy. According to Reuters, Lee said, “Because cruise missiles are considered less of a threat as they are slower than ballistic missiles and hit targets with high accuracy, North Korea will continue to develop them.”
Pyongyang, which has harsh sanctions imposed for violating the UN ban on ballistic and nuclear weapons testing but whose cruise missile test s do not face any ban, says it is open to negotiations, but that the United States and its regional allies should abandon hostile policies and military exercises.