Source: Isabella Marsans

In the fourth show of force in 2022, North Korea has launched an unidentified projectile, Seoul claims. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) announced the launch to the press in a text message sent to reporters.

The JCS did not elaborate on what they suspected the projectile was nor where it was launched.

They also didn’t immediately reveal whether the weapon was ballistic or how far it flew. 

However, Japan’s coast guard believes Pyongyang may have fired a ballistic missile.

This launch comes after North Korea conducted a pair of launches on January 5 and January 11 as well as test-fired ballistic missiles from a train on Friday.

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The North has been ramping up test launches in recent months.

The UN bars North Korea from conducting ballistic and nuclear weapons tests, but authorities in Japan and South Korea believe the rule was broken on January 5.

No confirmation from the North has been given, however.

The unidentified projectile was fired off North Korea’s east coast and marked the nation’s first show of force this year.

In a statement, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said: “South Korean and US intelligence are closely analysing for further detail.”

JCS and the Japanese government have reportedly said the projectile “appears” to be a ballistic missile.

As of March 2020, North Korea carried out 147 strategic missile tests since the first such test in 1984.

Under the rule of Kim Il-sung, 15 were carried out, and 16 under Kim Jong-il.

However, under Kim Jong-un’s leadership, 119 tests have been undertaken as of December, 2019.