Korea launches short-range missiles again, complicating USA attempts for talks

Clay Curtis
August 24, 2019

The Japanese Coast Guard says North Korea have fired two ballistic missiles over the Sea of Japan.

South Korea says North Korea has fired two unidentified projectiles off its east coast.

South Korea's National Security Council expressed strong concern about the launches and urged North Korea to stop acts that raise military tensions.

US -led diplomacy to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons collapsed after President Donald Trump rejected North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's demand for widespread sanctions relief in return for partial disarmament steps during their second summit in Vietnam in February.

A senior United States administration official said, "We are aware of reports of a missile launch from North Korea, and continue to monitor the situation".

"North Korea knows bilateral security cooperation between Japan and Korea is on life support and is now aiming to weaken underperforming trilateral cooperation with the US, which also is placed under great stress due to the current tensions", Miller said.

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They flew about 380 kilometres (236 miles) and reached a height of 97 km (60 miles), JSC said. Starting in late July, North Korea has tested a slew of weapons, mostly short-range missiles and rockets.

On Friday, North Korea's top diplomat called U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a "diehard toxin", saying "We are ready for both dialogue and standoff". "We are consulting closely with our Japanese and South Korean allies".

North Korea's foreign minister said Friday his country will try to remain "America's biggest threat" if the United States continues to confront the North with sanctions.

"He is truly impudent enough to utter such thoughtless words which only leave us disappointed and sceptical as to whether we can solve any problem with such a guy", said North Korea's foreign minister, Ri Yong-hoRi, in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency. Sondok is the site of a North Korean military airfield. The Japanese government said North Korea appears to have fired missiles, but they caused no damage and did not land in Japanese territorial waters.

The South Korean military says it will be sharing related information with Japan under their bilateral intel-sharing pact GSOMIA as Tokyo asked for the data.

Talks have been stalled since Trump's visit to the Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas, where he met with Kim, in late June.

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