At the end-of-year meeting, Kim Jong-un expressed worries about the precarious food situation in North Korea. He went to the extent of saying the country was facing a "great life-and-death struggle." He had also put forth his New Year goals as increasing development and improving the living standards of his people. However, the launch of an unidentified projectile into the sea soon after the New Year sends out a different signal.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff JCS confirmed the activity. The coast guard of Japan was the first to report the launch.

It was presumed to be a ballistic missile. There is a ban on North Korea from conducting tests on ballistic and nuclear weapons. In case of confirmation of the launch, it would be treated as the first such incident conducted by Pyongyang this year. The JCS said intelligence units of South Korea and the United States are examining the incident.

In 2021, North Korea conducted regular testing of missiles

Nobuo Kish, the defense minister of Japan, said the suspected ballistic missile covered a distance of around 310 miles. The timing of the launch is significant. It comes soon after Kim Jong-un said his country would add strength to its defense capabilities. He explained that this was necessary because of instability on the Korean peninsula.

Fumio Kishida, Prime Minister of Japan, described the latest launch as "very regrettable." He pointed out that North Korea was testing missiles on a regular basis.

Last year the North kept up its weapons program. It covered the testing of various types of missiles. These included both ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.

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The former is more threatening because they can carry payloads that are more powerful, have a more extended range, and fly faster. In 2017, the North tested a missile that posed a threat to U.S. military bases on the Pacific Island of Guam.

Food shortage in North Korea due to a coronavirus blockade

The hermit kingdom is struggling with food shortages.

It resulted from a coronavirus blockade, and it affected its economy. During the end-of-year meeting, the leader Kim Jong-un mentioned the country's "great life-and-death struggle." He wanted to improve the living standards of his people. Officials of the United Nations had warned that there is a risk of starvation for vulnerable children and older adults.

The North fires an unidentified projectile

North Korea fired an unidentified projectile. It was into waters off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula. The Japanese government said it could have been a "ballistic missile." Japan is also ensuring the safety of aircraft and ships. This launch appears to be the first projectile launch since North Korea test-fired a missile last October.

It was a submarine-launched ballistic missile. Before that, in September, it launched a new hypersonic missile.

There is a ban on Pyongyang from testing ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. Incidentally, Kim Jong-un admitted a "food problem" in the country. He said this in the course of a five-day meeting of the Korean Worker's Party. He is simultaneously pursuing his programs related to the development of missiles.

As a professor at Ewha University in Seoul says: "North Korea is signaling that neither the Omicron variant nor domestic food shortages will stop its aggressive missile development." These would violate U.N. Security Council resolutions and might invite more economic sanctions