North Korea fires suspected ballistic missiles

January 17, 2022
A valley with a river running through it.

… these missile launches highlight the destabilizing impact of (North Korea’s) illicit weapons program.

The United States Indo-Pacific Command on North Korea test-firing two suspected ballistic missiles into the sea on Monday.
  • This suspected short-range missile fire marks the fourth weapons test launched by North Korea this month, raising concerns of instability in the area.
  • The suspected fire of ballistic missiles from North Korea (one of only four state sponsors of terrorism designated by the U.S. State Dept.) violates the United Nations' sanctions that restrict the country's development of ballistic and nuclear weapons.
  • Last week, the Biden admin imposed more sanctions on North Korea in response to previous weapons tests. North Korea says the sanctions and joint military exercises the U.S. performs with South Korea (an important U.S. ally) are "hostile policy," and has declined to engage in dialogue with the U.S. unless these actions are abandoned.

Big Picture: Monday's test launches came at a time when North Korea has been increasingly testing nuclear-capable missiles, underscoring their intentions of continuing provocative action. Nobuo Kishi, Japan's defense minister, said: "The repeated launching of North Korea's ballistic missiles is a grave problem for the international community, including Japan." While the launch did not pose an immediate threat to the U.S. or its allies, South Korea's president gave instructions for officials to make "utmost efforts to ensure stability."

N. Korea fires short-range missiles in 4th launch this month (Associated Press)

North Korea fires two ballistic missiles from Pyongyang airport, South Korea says (Reuters)

North Korea fires two suspected ballistic missiles, Seoul says (Al Jazeera)

What to Know About Sanctions on North Korea (Council on Foreign Relations)

by Jenna Lee,