Seoul: North Korea short-range missiles flew 200 miles inland

Clay Curtis
September 11, 2019

The Joint Chiefs of Staff announced Tuesday morning that North Korea fired two short-range projectiles earlier in the day toward the East Sea from an inland site in Pyeongannam-do Province.

The missiles flew a distance of more than 330 kilometers (205 miles) at an altitude of 50-60 kilometers, according to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Although US President Donald Trump has played down previous tests this year, saying he did not believe short-range missiles violated any agreements, now-ousted national security adviser John Bolton had said even short-range launches by North Korea are banned under United Nations resolutions.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the test-firing of a "super-large multiple rocket launcher" on Tuesday, the country's state-run media reported Wednesday.

Trump and Kim experienced agreed to restart working-degree dialogue throughout an impromptu conference at the Demilitarised Zone dividing the nuclear-armed North and South Korea in June, but people talks have however to commence.

The envoy, Choe Son Hui, said in a first-person statement published Monday by North Korean state media that North Korea is willing "to sit with the USA side for comprehensive discussions of the issues we have so far taken up at the time and place to be agreed late in September".

"Someone asked, would the policy be different absent any individual being here", Pompeo said to reporters at the White House.

The launch suggests North Korea will continue pressuring the United States, even as it hints at returning to negotiations that have been stalled since February.

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It is widely thought that Trump has been pushing for a withdrawal of United States troops in time for his 2020 reelection bid. In a tweet , he accused journalists of trying "to create the look of turmoil in the White House, of which there is none".

"We are willing to sit face-to-face with the USA around late September at a time and place that we can agree on", Choe said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

USA officials say they are aware of the launch and are working closely with allies in the region. "We are going to see what occurs".

Pyongyang said Tuesday before the launch that it was willing to restart nuclear talks with the USA later this month, but warned that chances of a deal could end unless Washington takes a fresh approach. I constantly say having conferences is a great issue. The talks in Hanoi broke down over North Korea's demands for extensive sanctions relief in exchange for what the Trump administration said were insufficient steps toward denuclearization.

- Nuclear warhead advancement - Kim and Trump adopted a vaguely-worded statement on the "finish denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula" at their to start with summit in Singapore in June last yr, but little development has because been made on dismantling Pyongyang's nuclear programme.

"Our military is observing the situation and maintaining readiness", the JCS sad.

Analysts say the short-range missiles being tested threaten U.S. troops deployed in northeast Asia and citizens living in US-allied countries like South Korea and Japan.

Kim warned in a New Year's speech he may take an unspecified "new path" if the United States does not change its approach to the talks.

"It is meant to send a message to the US that....it can go further next year during the presidential race", says the analyst Kim.

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