North Korea Tests Surface-to-Air Missile

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SEOUL—North Korea said it had successfully tested a new antiaircraft missile, state media reported, as Pyongyang embarks on a long-term weapons strategy aimed at countering military threats from Washington and Seoul.

Kim Jong Un

wasn’t reported to have attended the Thursday launch, North Korea’s fourth weapons test in recent weeks. But a day earlier, Mr. Kim, in a policy speech to his rubber-stamp legislature, had praised the country’s weapons scientists for developing “ultramodern weapons” at “an extremely fast speed.”

The test was of “very practical significance” to North Korea’s antiaircraft missile systems, Pyongyang’s state media said, demonstrating guidance accuracy and showing an ability to down air targets from a farther distance.

Based on photos published by state media, the launcher for the surface-to-air missile appears to have been showcased at a North Korean military parade roughly a year ago, said

Ankit Panda,

a senior fellow in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

“Its testing now serves as a reminder that North Korea’s military modernization ambitions go far beyond just nuclear-capable systems,” Mr. Panda said.

On Thursday, Secretary of State

Antony Blinken

said North Korea’s recent launches represented repeated violations of United Nations Security Council resolutions and needed to be taken seriously by the international community. The launches create “greater prospects for instability and insecurity,” Mr. Blinken said.

North Korea has shown little interest in returning to denuclearization talks with the U.S., ignoring outreach from the Biden administration. In his recent policy speech, Mr. Kim said the U.S. threat against his country had remained “utterly unchanged” under President Biden.

Pyongyang had held off on weapons tests throughout the summer. But in the past several weeks, the Kim regime has conducted launches of long-range cruise missiles, weapons fired from a train and a hypersonic missile. In January, Mr. Kim had outlined a new five-year strategic weapons plan.

Write to Timothy W. Martin at timothy.martin@wsj.com

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