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(LEAD) N. Korea fires apparent ballistic missile toward East Sea: JCS

North Korea 09:00 January 11, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details throughout; ADDS byline)
By Song Sang-ho

SEOUL, Jan. 11 (Yonhap) -- North Korea fired a suspected ballistic missile toward the East Sea on Tuesday, South Korea's military said, less than a week after it launched what it claimed to be a hypersonic missile.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said it detected the launch from an inland area at 7:27 a.m. It did not elaborate further.

"For additional information, the intelligence authorities of South Korea and the United States are in the process of conducting a detailed analysis," the JCS said in a text message sent to reporters.

The South Korean military in cooperation with the U.S. is closely monitoring North Korean military movements and maintaining a firm readiness posture, the JCS added.

The latest launch came as the U.N. Security Council convened a closed-door session on Pyongyang's launch of the self-proclaimed hypersonic missile on Wednesday last week.

Shortly before the session, the U.S. and five other countries issued a joint statement calling on the North to refrain from "destabilizing" actions, abandon its ballistic missile programs and engage in "meaningful" dialogue toward denuclearization.

Seoul officials, meanwhile, dismissed North Korea's advanced missile claim as "exaggerated," saying the North has yet to secure technologies for such a weapon.

Pyongyang's latest saber-rattling came as it has underscored its focus on bolstering defense capabilities and developing new weapons, such as a submarine-launched ballistic missile, amid a prolonged impasse in nuclear talks with the U.S.

Nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have been stalled since the no-deal Hanoi summit between the two countries in February 2019.

This undated file photo, released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency, shows a missile launch. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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