Friday, April 19

North Korea launches two more ‘short-range ballistic missiles’ into the sea

North Korea fired two speculated short-range ballistic missiles into the sea on Saturday, South Korea’s military says.

The launch is the seventh done since North Korea finished a 17-month break on testing toward the end of July.

The launch was managed by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the state news organization KCNA later detailed.

The organization said it was a test of a “super-large multiple rocket launcher”, which it said was “newly-developed”.

Kim Jong-un called the gadget a “great weapon,” displaying “high appreciation” for the team which had created and assembled it, KCNA said.

Military authorities said the projectiles were propelled at 06:45 and 07:02 local time (21:45 and 22:02 GMT Friday) from the eastern town of Sondok in South Hamgyong Province.

They said they flew about 380km (240 miles) and arrived at a height of 97 km before landing into the Sea of Japan, otherwise called the East Sea.

“Our military is monitoring the situation in case of additional launches and maintaining a readiness posture,” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement.

Japan’s Defense Minister, Takeshi Iwaya, affirmed the missiles had not missiles in Japanese regional waters, yet depicted them as a reasonable infringement of UN resolutions.

Pyongyang has repeatedly expressed anger at US-South Korean military exercises that have been occurring.

The missile launch comes days after US-South Korean military exercises finished. North Korea portrays them as a “rehearsal for war” and says they abuse agreements came to with US President Donald Trump and South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in.

The US and South Korea have would not cancel the drills, yet have downsized them altogether.

In a presidential office statement on Saturday, South Korea called for North Korea to quit raising military tensions and emphasized their desire for negotiations with the US to continue.

Denuclearisation talks have slowed down since a second face-to-face summit between Mr. Trump and North Korean pioneer Kim Jong Un separated in February.

In June the two leaders met in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between the two Koreas and consented to resume working-level negotiations.

Talking after Saturday’s tests, Mr. Trump repeated that he had a “really good relationship” with Mr. Kim, whom he said had been “pretty straight” with him.

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