North Korea nuclear program
North Korea nuclear programiStock

North Korea has launched what could be a ballistic missile, Japan’s Coast Guard said early on Tuesday (local time), according to The Guardian.

South Korea’s military also reported that North Korea had fired an unidentified projectile off its east coast.

The incident marks the second time in recent days that North Korea has fired a missile. Last week, Pyongyang said it had test fired a "hypersonic missile" that successfully hit a target.

Last Wednesday’s launch was the first by North Korea since October and was detected by several militaries in the region, drawing criticism from governments in the United States, South Korea, and Japan.

The US State Department said the test violated multiple UN Security Council Resolutions and poses a threat to North Korea's neighbors and the international community.

North Korea regularly launches ballistic missiles and had a series of such tests in late 2021, the most recent of which was in October when it test-fired a new ballistic missile from a submarine.

North Korea restarted its missile tests after denuclearization talks with the United States came to a halt.

Former US President Donald Trump tried to reach an agreement with North Korea while in office. Kim and Trump met in Hanoi in 2019 for a summit that left nuclear talks at a standstill.

The pair had met three times since June 2018 but made little progress towards denuclearization.

The Biden administration reached out to North Korea shortly after taking office, but the country did not respond to those overtures.

In Biden’s first policy speech to Congress, he said nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran posed threats that would be addressed through “diplomacy and stern deterrence”.

Responding to that speech, North Korea dismissed the idea of talks with Washington, saying Biden’s speech was “intolerable” and “a big blunder."