South Korean military on April 14 said that the North fired several suspected cruise missiles into the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff in a statement said that the projectiles are believed to be short-range cruise missiles fired from Munchon in the east of the country. North Korea has tested several ballistic and short-range cruise missiles in the recent past, with their most latest one being the March 29 short-range ballistic missiles test into the ocean of its east coast.
If media reports are to be believed, the apparent test launch by the North Korean regime tenth of this month as they had already tested nine missiles prior to conducting the latest military drill. Media reports suggest that these launches are personally overseen by the Supreme Leader of North Korea Kim Jong Un. According to the United Nations Security Council resolutions, North Korea is barred from testing any ballistic missile and it has been heavily sanctioned for its missile and nuclear programs by the United States.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff also said that South Korea and the United States intelligence are closely monitoring the issue. According to Shea Cotton, a senior researcher at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, North Korea has tested the most number of missiles in March 2020 and so far all the missiles tested this year have been short-range weapons like KN-24. The major difference between a ballistic missile and a cruise missile is that the former climbs high above the Earth, into space, only to return back with full speed taking the help of gravity before hitting the target, while a cruise missile travels at low altitude, sometimes just a few metres (feet) above the surface making them hard to detect.
(Image Credit: AP)