North Korea launched eight ballistic missiles toward the sea Sunday as dictator Kim Jong Un tries to establish the country as a global military force with nuclear capabilities.
The North fired off the missiles over 35 minutes near the capital of Pyongyang, South Korea’s military confirmed.
The latest provocation is the 18th round of missile tests by the North this year and came just one day after the South conducted a naval drill in the Phillippine Sea alongside US aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, the Associated Press reported.
The North is preparing a nuclear testing ground in the town of Punggye-ri as it plans to launch its first nuclear test since 2017, the AP reported, citing US and South Korean officials. The North has conducted six nuclear tests since 2006, according to the news service.
The US had pushed the United Nations Security Council to place further sanctions on the North amid escalating tensions over the continued missile testing last month, but Russia and China vetoed that move.
Kim has sought to make a global statement about the North’s capability, pushing to develop weapons that could even reach the US mainland.
Nuclear disarmament discussions between the US and the North hit a wall over sanctions against the North in 2019. Experts believe Kim’s strategy with the increasing weapons displays that he will be able to negotiate from a position of strength, according to the AP.
With Post wires