, 2022-12-27 01:22:00,
Seoul, South Korea
In 2020, North Korea conducted four missile tests. In 2021, it doubled that number. In 2022, the isolated nation fired more missiles than any other year on record, at one point launching 23 missiles in a single day.
North Korea has fired more than 90 cruise and ballistic missiles so far this year, showing off a range of weapons as experts warn of a potential nuclear test on the horizon.
Though the tests themselves aren’t new, their sheer frequency marks a significant escalation that has put the Pacific region on edge.
“The big thing about 2022 is that the word ‘test’ is no longer appropriate to talk about most North Korean missile launches – they are hardly testing missiles these days,” said Ankit Panda, a nuclear policy expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “Everything we’ve seen this year suggests that Kim Jong Un is dead serious about using nuclear capabilities early in a conflict if necessary.”
The attention-grabbing tests also threaten to set off an arms race in Asia, with nearby countries building up their militaries, and the United States promising to defend South Korea and Japan by the “full range of capabilities, including nuclear.”
Here’s a look back at a year of weaponry and warnings – and what could come next.
Of the more than 270 missile…
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