North Korea fires presumed ballistic missile in seventh launch of year, South Korea says

By Gawon Bae, CNN

    (CNN) -- North Korea fired what is presumed to be a ballistic missile into the waters off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula on Sunday, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

If the firing is confirmed, it would be Pyongyang's sixth ballistic missile launch in 2022 and seventh of missiles overall.

The Kim Jong Un regime is ramping up its missile testing in 2022, and has said it will bolster its defenses against the United States and evaluate "restarting all temporally suspended activities," according to North Korea's state-run news agency KCNA.

On Thursday, North Korea fired what were presumed to be two short-range ballistic missiles into the seas off the nation's east coast.

Two days before that, it fired what were believed to be cruise missiles into the same waters.

On January 17, Pyongyang test-fired "tactical guided missiles," which are short-range ballistic missiles, KCNA said.

North Korea claimed to have successfully test-fired hypersonic missiles on January 5 and 11, and then what were presumed to be short-range ballistic missiles from a rail car on January 14.

Pyongyang is barred by international law from developing ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons.

After the rail car test, a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson admonished Washington for its posture against Pyongyang's weapons development. "If the US adopts such a confrontational stance, the DPRK will be forced to take stronger and certain reaction to it," the spokesman said, referring to the country by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

In a recent statement carried by KCNA, a spokesperson defended North Korea's right to bolster its arms, saying its "recent development of new-type weapons was just part of its efforts for modernizing its national defense capability."

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