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(2nd LD) N. Korea fires apparent ICBM toward East Sea

Defense 17:42 March 24, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with military's explanation)
By Song Sang-ho

SEOUL, March 24 (Yonhap) -- North Korea fired what seems to be a long-range missile toward the East Sea on Thursday, South Korea's military said.

Pyongyang's show of force, the 12th this year, effectively means an end to its self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) testing.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said that it detected the launch from the Sunan airfield in Pyongyang at 2:34 p.m. and the missile flew some 1,080 kilometers at a top altitude of over 6,200 km.

The North appears to have launched the projectile at a lofted angle, the JCS said.

The Pyongyang airfield is where the North is presumed to have tested the Hwasong-17 ICBM on Feb. 27 and March 5.

Dubbed a "monster" missile for its size, the new ICBM is thought to carry multiple warheads and have a range exceeding 13,000 km.

The North's latest launch came four days after it fired four artillery shots into the Yellow Sea, apparently using multiple rocket launchers, from Sukchon, north of Pyongyang.

Last week, the North unsuccessfully fired an apparent long-range rocket system.

In January, Pyongyang made a veiled threat to lift its voluntary moratorium on strategic weapons tests that it declared in April 2018 amid nuclear diplomacy with Seoul and Washington.

A news report on North Korea's launch of a ballistic missile is aired on a television at Seoul Station on Feb. 27, 2022. (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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