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North Korea launches two more ‘tactical missiles'

The Japanese Ministry of Defense said the North Korean missiles launched on 17 January from Pyongyang fell near the east coast of North Korea, outside of Japan's exclusive economic zone. (Japanese MoD –

North Korea launched two more missiles on 17 January, the latest in a series of similar drills since the beginning of 2022. Janes assesses that the new launches featured a version of the KN-24 short-range ballistic missile (SRBM).

Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said the two “tactical guided missiles” were fired from the “western region of our country [and] hit an island target in the East Sea of Korea with precision”. The East Sea of Korea is also known as the Sea of Japan or East Sea.

KCNA added, “The inspection [and] firing test was conducted for the purpose of selectively inspecting the tactical guided missiles being produced and verifying the accuracy of the weapon system.

“The Academy of Defence Science has confirmed the accuracy, safety, and operational effectiveness of this weapon system being produced.”

KCNA said the firing test was conducted in line with development plans laid out by the missile developer, the Academy of Defence Science (ADS), and the Second Economic Committee, which is responsible for managing North Korea's defence industrial complex. In January 2021 North Korea launched a five-year weapons modernisation plan.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said it had assessed that the missiles were launched from the Sunan Airfield in Pyongyang, which is located near North Korea's international airport. It added that the missiles travelled about 380 km to a maximum altitude of 42 km.

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