Thursday, 19 September 2019

North Korea Fires Projectiles, Rejects South Korea's Talk Pledge

  • Font:
  • Ukuran Font: - +
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches a missile launch at an unidentified location in North Korea, in this undated image provided by KCNA on August 7, 2019. Tuesday's missile launch, the North's fourth in less than two weeks, came amid stalled denuclearisation talks with Washington and U.S.-South Korea military exercises, although Washington and Seoul played down the tests. KCNA via REUTERS

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches a missile launch at an unidentified location in North Korea, in this undated image provided by KCNA on August 7, 2019. Tuesday's missile launch, the North's fourth in less than two weeks, came amid stalled denuclearisation talks with Washington and U.S.-South Korea military exercises, although Washington and Seoul played down the tests. KCNA via REUTERS

    TEMPO.CO, Seoul - North Korea launched at least two projectiles into the sea on Friday, August 16, South Korea's military said, shortly after Pyongyang described South Korea's president as "impudent" and vowed that inter-Korean talks are over.

    The North has protested against joint military drills conducted by South Korea and the United States, which kicked off last week, calling them a rehearsal for war. It has also fired several short-range missiles in recent weeks.

    North Korea fired two more unidentified projectiles into the sea off its east coast on Friday morning, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. South Korea's National Security Council was meeting to discuss the latest launches.

    Japan's defense ministry said it did not see any imminent security threat from the latest projectile launch.

    A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said initial information indicated at least one projectile was fired by North Korea and appeared to be similar to the short-range missiles fired in previous weeks. Another official said the United States was consulting with South Korea and Japan.

    The launches have complicated attempts to restart talks between U.S. and North Korean negotiators over the future of Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

    Those denuclearisation talks have been stalled despite a commitment to revive them made at a June 30 meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

    Earlier on Friday, Pyongyang rejected a vow by South Korean President Moon Jae-in a day earlier to pursue talks with the North and to unify the two Koreas by 2045.

    The loss of dialogue momentum between the North and South and the stalemate in implementing pledges made at a historic summit between their two leaders last year was entirely the responsibility of the South, a North Korean spokesman said.

    The unidentified spokesman repeated criticism that the joint U.S.-South Korea drills were a sign of Seoul's hostility towards the North.

    "We have nothing to talk any more with the South Korean authorities nor have any idea to sit with them again," the North's spokesman for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

    The committee manages relationships with the South. The rival Koreas are technically still at war after the 1950-53 Korean War ended with a truce rather than a peace treaty.

    South Korea's unification ministry called North Korea's comments about Moon "not in line" with inter-Korean agreements and unhelpful for developing relations between them.

    REUTERS