SEOUL — North Korea test-fired two short-range cruise missiles over the weekend, South Korean defense officials confirmed Wednesday, adding to a series of provocations and statements in recent weeks that experts say are warnings to Washington.
The test took place off the west coast of North Korea on Sunday, just days after the country accused the United States and South Korea of raising “a stink” on the Korean Peninsula with their annual military drills. It did not violate United Nations resolutions, which ban North Korea from developing or testing ballistic missile technologies. It did, however, mark the country’s first missile test since President Biden took office in January.
When North Korea launches missile tests, they are usually celebrated through state media and quickly confirmed by the South Korean military. But North Korean media has not reported on Sunday’s test. South Korean officials said Wednesday that they had detected the test when it occurred, but decided not to immediately report on it. They did not elaborate on their decision.
South Korean defense officials tend to consider short-range cruise missile tests less of a provocation than ballistic launches. They also tend not to highlight what they consider minor provocations from the North when trying to promote inter-Korean dialogue. Sill, when North Korea launched short-range cruise missiles off its east coast in April last year, they were promptly confirmed by South Korea. In this case, South Korean officials only confirmed the test after it was first reported by The Washington Post.
extradite the North Korean businessman, who is set to face trial in an American court on charges of money laundering and violating international sanctions. North Korea accused Washington of being a “backstage manipulator” in the case, and warned that it would “pay a due price.”
It also said that it felt no need to respond to recent attempts by the Biden administration to establish dialogue, dismissing them as a “delaying-time trick.”