North Korea fires another ‘unidentified’ projectile

North Korea fires another 'unidentified' projectile

North Korea has fired at least one unidentified projectile, South Korea’s military said Thursday, adding yet another complication into the stalled negotiations with the United States and peace talks with South Korea.

The launch took place at 4:30 p.m., in the Sino-ri area in the country’s western Pyongbuk province, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

The projectile was launched from near the North’s west coast, at Sino-ri, about 50 miles northwest of Pyongyang, the capital, the South Korean military said in a statement. It gave no further details, including what type of projectile was launched or how far it flew.

Thursday’s firing comes less than a week after North Korea tested several new weapons systems, the first confirmed launches of their kind since 2017.

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“The Sino-ri missile operating base and the Rodong missiles deployed at this location fit into North Korea’s presumed nuclear military strategy by providing an operational-level nuclear or conventional first-strike capability against targets located both throughout the Korean Peninsula and in most of Japan,” analysts for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank, said in a paper in January.

South Korean officials were still analyzing flight data on Thursday to determine the range of the weapon that North Korea launched.

North Korean state media reported that the launches conducted on Saturday were part of a “strike drill” to “check the operating ability of large-caliber long-range multiple rocket launchers and tactical guided weapons.”

But some weapons experts who analyzed the images of Saturday’s launch released by North Korea say that Pyongyang may have test-fired a new, more advanced type of short-range ballistic missile — the type of weapon that in theory could carry a nuclear warhead.