Apr 17, 2022 - World

North Korean military conducts 12th missile launch of 2022

This undated handout picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on April 17, 2022 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with military members in North Korea.

This undated photo, released Sunday by the state-run Korean Central News Agency, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un with members of his military purportedly observing the test-fire of a new-type tactical guided weapon in North Korea. Photo: STR/KCNA VIA KNS/AFP via Getty Images

North Korea's military launched two short-range missiles toward the sea off its east coast on Sunday, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said, per Bloomberg.

Why it matters: North Korea's 12th missile test this year came as the U.S. and South Korea prepared to hold annual joint military exercises on Monday, the New York Times notes.

The big picture: The state-run Korean Central News Agency claimed earlier Sunday that leader Kim Jong-un had watched his military successfully test-fire a newly developed tactical guided weapon.

  • KCNA claimed the launch was part of plans to bolster the "defense capabilities and nuclear combat forces," suggesting the missiles were capable of carrying nuclear warhead. But this claim could not immediately be verified.
  • The Joint Chiefs of Staff said its military and U.S. intelligence authorities were analyzing details of the launch that it said took place from North Korea's eastern coastal town of Hamhung, with the projectiles flying for over 60 miles, Bloomberg reports.

Flashback: North Korea tests first intercontinental ballistic missile since 2017

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