North Korea nuclear program
North Korea nuclear program iStock

North Korea fired a suspected ballistic missile, Japan's coast guard said on Sunday (local time), according to Reuters.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff also reported that North Korea had fired at least one "unidentified projectile" eastward, without elaborating.

The launch would be the first test since North Korea conducted a record number of launches in January.

One of those launches was a test of a Hwasong-12 mid-range ballistic missile. This marked the first time Pyongyang has tested a weapon that powerful since 2017.

Pyongyang 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."