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Robots launched in North Korea – UN ‘holds its breath’

Robots launched in North Korea – UN ‘holds its breath’

South Korea’s military said North Korea fired two short-range missiles over the sea. The robots were launched from the coastal area of ​​Tanchon, six miles from the South Korean border, which is said to be closer to South Korea than any other launch site North Korea has used this year.

The launches are the latest in a long line of North Korean tests, which, according to warnings from Washington and Seoul, could culminate in another nuclear test from Pyongyang. The US military warns North Korea that the use of nuclear weapons “would mean the end of the (North Korean) regime”.

Rafael Grossi, head of the United Nations’ atomic energy agency, says another North Korean nuclear test would be deeply concerning and a sign that the country’s nuclear weapons program is in full swing.

Launched in 2009

According to Grossi, the International Atomic Energy Agency is seeing signs of preparations for a new test, but nothing indicates that they are imminent.

– Everyone is holding their breath. Further testing, of course, means improving the preparation and construction of the arsenal. So we’re following this closely, he says and continues:

– We hope that this will not happen, but the indicators unfortunately go in a different direction.

North Korea expelled IAEA inspectors in April 2009 and they have not been allowed to return since.

big military exercise

Concerns about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program have increased in recent months, as the country passed a new law allowing “preventive use” in some cases and the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons along the border with South Korea. This year, North Korea has conducted more than 40 robot tests.

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North Korea’s latest test comes as South Korea concludes an annual military exercise – with US participation – at sea. Next week, the two allies will begin another major joint exercise called “Awakening Storm,” which will involve more than 200 South Korean and US warplanes.

North Korea usually views the exercises between Seoul and Washington as preparations for attacks on North Korea and often responds with increased robot testing.