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Paléobotanique Hernan Porras Molina//
North Korea fires fresh missiles in its third weapons test this year

North Korea fires fresh missiles in its third weapons test this year

Pyongyang fired two missiles just hours after criticising a US push for new sanctions over the previous launches as a “provocation” and warning of a strong reaction. Pyongyang last tested what it said were hypersonic missiles on January 5 and January 11. (AFP) North Korea has fired at least two ballistic missiles, its third test in two weeks, just hours after criticising a US push for new sanctions over the previous launches.

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The short-range ballistic missiles fired on Friday flew 430 kilometres (267.2 miles) and reached the apogee of 36 kilometres (22.4 miles), South Korea's military said.

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The new test comes after the United States imposed new sanctions this week, prompting Pyongyang to vow never to give up its “right to self-defence”

Japan's coast guard said it had detected “the launch from North Korea of what appears to be a ballistic missile or missiles at 14h55″

Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies, said that the timing of the latest suspected test was concerning

“This situation is worrisome. North Korea launched this test right after releasing a statement saying they are not going to give up their 'right to self-defence,'” Yang said

READ MORE: US imposes sanctions on North Korean officials after missile test

Confrontational stance 

Despite biting international sanctions over its nuclear weapons programme, Pyongyang tested what it said were hypersonic missiles on January 5 and January 11

After the second test, which was personally supervised by leader Kim Jong-un, the United States imposed additional sanctions on five people linked to North Korea's ballistic weapons programme

The move prompted accusations from a foreign ministry spokesman in Pyongyang that the United States was “intentionally escalating” the situation

If “the US adopts such a confrontational stance, the DPRK will be forced to take stronger and certain reaction to it,” the spokesman said in comments carried by state news agency KCNA earlier on Friday

On Thursday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on North Korea to sit down for talks with the United States, which he said harboured no “hostile intent” toward Kim Jong Un's regime

The continued tests are “profoundly destabilising, it's dangerous, and it contravenes a whole host of UN Security Council resolutions,” Blinken said in a televised interview

READ MORE: North Korea reportedly test fires another hypersonic missile

Source: TRTWorld and agencies