SKorean military: NKorea's latest launches were missiles

SKorean military: NKorea's latest launches were missiles

Kerry Wise
May 12, 2019

Trump has said the talks failed because Kim Jong Un's demands for sanctions relief did not match with the United States' request for total denuclearization.

Some analysts say the multiple tests show the missiles aren't only for political show.

North Korea last conducted a major missile test in November 2017 when it flight-tested an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Pyongyang fired two short-range missiles Thursday following an earlier drill the previous Saturday - the first in 18 months. They covered distances of 420 km (260 miles) and 270 km (168 miles) and reached an altitude of about 50 km (30 miles) before falling into the sea, they said.

North Korea's Rodong Sinmun newspaper, the mouthpiece of the ruling party, devoted its entire front page and half of page two to the launch on Friday, with 16 pictures, the main one of Kim watching the launch from a camouflaged shelter.

"Nobody's happy about it", he told reporters.

Nuclear-armed North Korea launched four ballistic missiles on March 6 in another challenge to President Donald Trump, with three landing provocatively close to America's ally Japan.

"It may create a mood for reopening dialogue but the chance that North Korea will immediately come back or change its stance on the U.S. is very slim", said Koh Yu-hwan, a professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University.

Yang Uk, a top research fellow at the Korea Defense and Security Forum spoke to Reuters. "They are developing a reliable, operable missile that can defeat missile defences and conduct a precision strike in South Korea".

Harry Kazianis is with the Center for the National Interest in Washington.

Images released by North Korea's state-run media show that the two missiles the country launched on 9 May were of the same type as the close/short-range ballistic missile it test-fired on 4 May.

Royal baby: What we know about Harry and Meghan's new son
The American previous year made waves in Britain by closing her own vehicle door - a task usually performed by aides. Harry was at his wife's side during the birth and was clearly moved by the experience. "It was unbelievable .

This was Pyongyang's second launch in less than a week.

The launch comes as the USA special representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, visits South Korea.

On Wednesday, North Korea lashed out at the United States and South Korea, saying its tests on Saturday were "regular and self-defensive" and rejecting the notion that they were provocative. It criticized Seoul and Washington for carrying out military drills.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered his military to boost its strike capability.

"While we did not reach an agreement with the DPRK [North Korea] at Hanoi, we exchanged detailed positions and narrowed the gap on a number of issues", a State Department official told ABC News in a statement and declined to comment on ongoing conversations.

Kim Jong Un's call for a "full combat posture" follows the US seizure of a large North Korean cargo ship accused of illicit coal shipments in violation of United Nations sanctions.

"Such anachronistic acts are very risky", its ambassador to the council, Han Tae Song, said. North Korea has since fired off multiple projectiles over the last few weeks.

Washington blamed the shortages on the North Korean government and said it could meet its people's needs if it redirected funds from its weapons programs.

Since then Kim has accused Washington of acting in "bad faith" and given it until the end of the year to change its approach.

If North Korea had imported Iskanders from Russian Federation, the report added, "it has an existing capacity to deliver warheads to targets in South Korea with great precision".

Since the second summit, tensions between the two countries have risen again.