North Korea re-ignites tensions by testing longest-range missile since 2017

South Korean TV coverage of North Korean missile test

South Korean TV coverage of North Korean missile test JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images

North Korea launched a missile Sunday, ending a month that saw an unusually high number of weapons tests, NPR reported.

According to The New York Times, “The tests enable the North to upgrade its missile forces while putting more pressure on the Biden administration to come to the table with more favorable terms, analysts said.”

Observers believe this latest launch to be the longest-range missile North Korea has tested since 2017.

North Korea suspended nuclear and long-range ballistic missile testing in 2018, but this launch likely marks the end of that self-imposed moratorium.

“If it’s an intermediate-range ballistic missile that they launched, it means that North Korea has come close to abandoning its moratorium,” South Korean President Moon Jae-in told his National Security Council on Sunday. “North Korea must stop raising tensions and pressure and accept offers from South Korea and the United States to restart dialogue,” he added.

North Korea walked away from negotiations in 2019 after the Trump administration refused the authoritarian nation’s demand for sanctions relief.

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and the government of Japan joined South Korea in condemning the test.

The missile was launched at 7:52 a.m. local time and did not enter the airspace of any other country.

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