North Korea fires missile ahead of South Korea’s election

North Korea fired a suspected ballistic missile on Saturday, Seoul’s military said, continuing this year’s record-breaking blitz of weapons tests. The launch came just days before South Korea’s presidential election.

From hypersonic to medium-range ballistic missiles, Pyongyang test-fired a string of weaponry in January. Then last week launched what it claimed was a component of a “reconnaissance satellite” – although Seoul described it as another ballistic missile.

Despite biting international sanctions over its nuclear weapons, Pyongyang has ignored US offers of talks since high-profile negotiations between leader Kim Jong Un and then-US president Donald Trump collapsed in 2019.

Instead of diplomacy, Pyongyang has doubled-down on Kim’s drive to modernise its military, warning in January that it could abandon a self-imposed moratorium on testing long-range missiles and nuclear weapons.

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