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The country is subject to tough sanctions, including from the United States and the UN Security Council.

North Korea fired two suspected short-range ballistic missiles on Thursday morning, marking the self-declared nuclear power’s sixth missile test this year so far.

South Korea’s military Joint Chiefs of Staff said Pyongyang fired the two missiles towards the sea from Hamhung on the east coast.

Seoul said the missiles flew some 190 kilometres and crashed into the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan.

UN resolutions prohibit North Korea, a self-declared nuclear power, from testing ballistic missiles, some types of which are capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

The country fired two cruise missiles on Tuesday, according to South Korea. Unlike ballistic missiles, cruise missiles have their own permanent propulsion, and they are not subject to sanctions.

North Korea has drawn criticism from the United States, South Korea and Japan for its missile tests this year.

According to Pyongyang, its testing has included hypersonic missiles. In this type of weapon, a hypersonic glider can launch from a ballistic missile.

Hypersonic weapons are difficult to intercept because of their high speed and maneuverability. Experts say North Korea is trying to demonstrate military strength and develop its missile technology.

The country is subject to tough sanctions, including from the UN Security Council.

After the U.S. recently imposed new sanctions, Pyongyang indicated it might resume testing nuclear bombs and intercontinental missiles.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared at the end of 2019 that he no longer considered the country bound by a self-imposed testing moratorium.

This came after negotiations with the U.S. over North Korea’s nuclear programme stalled.

This month the U.S. Treasury Department decided to impose new sanctions, including punitive measures against five North Koreans it accused of procuring goods for their country’s weapons of mass destruction and missile programmes.


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