North Korea fires suspected ballistic missile in 7th test this month

North Korea launched a suspected ballistic missile on Sunday, according to the South Korean military, marking potentially the seventh missile test the nation has conducted so far in 2022.

The missile was launched from a northern inland area, but it was unclear exactly where it landed, according to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, The Associated Press reported.

North Korea appeared to fire two missiles just three days earlier and another two the day before that. The nation also launched a tactical guided missile, two "hypersonic missiles" and a railway-borne missile system earlier in the month.

North Korea has not tested long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles or nuclear weapons since 2017. But after talks with the U.S. died out under former President Donald Trump, the nation began short-range missile testing.

Last week, North Korean officials said the country was considering resuming nuclear and missile tests, citing concerns about the U.S.'s "hostile policy and military threat."

Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, South Korea, told the Associated Press that the shows of force could be a sign that North Korea wants recognition from other world powers.

"It wants to remind Washington and Seoul that trying to topple it would be too costly. By threatening stability in Asia while global resources are stretched thin elsewhere, Pyongyang is demanding the world compensate it to act like a 'responsible nuclear power,'" Easley told the news outlet.

The U.S. has expressed concern about the flurry of missile launches.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called the tests "profoundly destabilizing."

And earlier in January, the U.S. sanctioned five North Koreans who the Treasury Department said were responsible for procuring goods for Pyongyang's ballistic missile program.