North Korea fired an “unidentified projectile” into the Sea of Japan on Thursday, the South Korean military said. This is Pyongyang’s sixth missile test this year.
North Korea last tested so many weapons in a month in 2019 after talks between its leader Kim Jong-un and then-US President Donald Trump broke down. Since then, talks between the two countries have stalled and international sanctions and border closures to guard against Covid-19 have brought North Korea’s economy to its knees.
Pyongyang carried out two cruise missile tests on Tuesday, according to Seoul, and at least four more weapons tests this month, including what it said were hypersonic missiles on Jan. 5 and 11.
Last week, North Korea hinted it could resume nuclear and long-range weapons testing, suspended since 2017.
These trials come at a delicate time for the region: China, the only major ally of the North Korean regime, is hosting the Winter Olympics in February and South Korea is holding a presidential election in March.