Feb 02, 2024 12:09 UTC
  • North Korea conducts test of multiple 'strategic' missiles

North Korea has fired multiple "strategic" cruise missiles, possibly nuclear-type, into the sea off the country's west coast, the fourth time in just over a week Pyongyang has launched such missiles.

The South Korean military said it spotted Friday “multiple unidentified cruise missiles” fired from the North, after which it "stepped up surveillance in close coordination with the United States".

"The military detected multiple unidentified cruise missiles at around 11 am (0200 GMT) fired" into the sea off the west coast, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement.

The military is "closely monitoring for signs of additional activity" by the North Korean army, it said, adding it was "closely analyzing" the launch.

Reports from Pyongyang’s state media indicated that Kim Jong-un, the leader of the North, had conducted an inspection of warships in Nampho located on the west coast earlier on Friday.

This inspection took place either on Thursday or within the past few days, implying that he might have remained in the vicinity to supervise the missile test conducted on Friday.

The latest launch comes three days after the North conducted what it said was a test-fire of a strategic cruise missile.

On Sunday, Kim supervised the launch of two Pulhwasal-3-31s, a novel form of strategic cruise missile which Pyongyang says is designed to be fired from submarines.

Following the launch, Kim reiterated his goal of building a nuclear-armed navy to counter what he described as growing external threats.

This month, Pyongyang also claimed to have tested an "underwater nuclear weapon system" and a solid-fueled hyper-sonic ballistic missile.