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After the North Korean Hwasong-12 missile test, the United States calls for direct talks

North Korea announced on Sunday that it successfully test-fired a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile, according to state-run press, as Washington encourages Pyongyang to engage in direct negotiations without preconditions.

This month, Pyongyang conducted its seventh missile launch, the most in a single month since 2019. According to South Korea and Japan, the missile soared 1,242 miles skyward before landing 500 miles away in the ocean.

The missile was launched from Pyongyang's Jagang Province at 7:52 a.m. local time and went at speeds of up to 16 times the speed of sound, according to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Hwasong-12 ground-to-ground intermediate and the long-range ballistic missile were launched for evaluation and verification of “the overall accuracy of the weapon system,” state media Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

The launch was considered as a step toward North Korea ending its self-imposed ban on long-range intercontinental ballistic missile experimentation, which it hasn't done since 2017.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Pyongyang’s recent missile tests were a “challenge toward the international community’s efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, stabilize peace and find a diplomatic solution.”

31 Jan 2022


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