(CNN) — North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles for the first time while President Kim Jong Un was out of the country to meet with President Vladimir Putin in Russia, experts told CNN.
Kim Jong Un is currently in Russia, where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin this Wednesday at Russia’s space center, Vostochny Cosmodrome.
“This is the first time I’ve seen a release with Kim outside the country. Since 2019, Kim has generally begun interfering with tests and exercises, and many launches have been carried out without his apparent presence. The launch could have been carried out under existing orders,” said Ankit Panda, a senior fellow in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
“Also, this comes at a time when we’re starting to see North Korea take some steps toward a more representative form of nuclear command and control by introducing tactical nuclear weapons,” Panda said, adding that it was “definitely a significant. Event.”
Another expert, Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, analyzed that North Korea may be trying to “prove that the military is ready with seamless command and control.”
“It is noteworthy that North Korea fired missiles under UN sanctions while Kim was in Russia to meet with the head of the permanent member of the Security Council,” Easley added.
South Korea said the missiles traveled 650 km each.
Two of North Korea’s short-range ballistic missiles each traveled about 650 kilometers and landed in the sea off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula on Wednesday, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.
South Korean and US intelligence officials are investigating further details, JCS added.
The JCS said North Korea’s continued ballistic missile launches are “a significant provocation” that threatens the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the international community.
UN He called the Security Council resolution a “clear violation” and urged the North to “stop immediately”.