A few days after artillery exercises with live ammunition organized by Pyongyang near the maritime border with South Korea, North Korea fired a ballistic missile on Sunday January 14.

“North Korea fired an unidentified ballistic missile toward the East Sea,” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement, referring to an area also known as the Sea of ​​Japan . The Joint Chiefs of Staff said they detected the launch but gave no further details.

The Japanese coast guard said it was an “object, potentially a ballistic missile, launched from North Korea,” citing information from the Japanese defense ministry, and asking ships to be careful.

Test of a ballistic missile, firing of live ammunition

The last missile launched by North Korea, on December 18, 2023, was a Hwasong-18 solid-fuel ICBM-class missile, the most advanced it has, fired toward the Sea of ​​Japan.

In early January, North Korea carried out artillery exercises with live ammunition on its western coast, near South Korean islands where the civilian population was called to take shelter.

On Wednesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un described South Korea as the country’s “main enemy.” “The historic moment has finally come when we should define [South Korea] as the state most hostile to [North Korea],” Kim assured.

These comments mark a shift in North Korean politics and suggest that Pyongyang will adopt a tougher stance in the future, according to analysts, in this election year in South Korea – in April – and in the United States – on 5 november.

In 2023, North Korea enshrined its status as a nuclear power in its constitution and fired several intercontinental ballistic missiles, in violation of UN resolutions.