North Korea launches at least two projectiles into sea
Move comes hours after US national security adviser John Bolton departed South Korea
The launch occurred less than a month after Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Demilitarized Zone.
North Korea launched at least two projectiles early Thursday from the eastern part of the Korean Peninsula just hours after US national security adviser John Bolton departed South Korea.
A statement from the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff called the projectiles “unidentified” and said that they flew 430 kilometres, or about 267 miles.
The statement offered few other details other than to say the projectiles were fired from Wonsan, where North Korea has previously tested missiles.
The projectiles seemed to be of similar range as the short-range ballistic missiles launched by North Korea in early May.
At that time, US president Donald Trump downplayed their significance, even though the move was in violation of international sanctions, saying: “I don’t consider that a breach of trust at all.”
In Washington, a senior administration official said that the White House was aware of the launches, but provided no further comment.
The early-Thursday launch occurred less than a month after Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two Koreas.
The leaders agreed to restart nuclear talks after their hour-long meeting on June 30th. During their encounter, Trump became the first American leader to set foot in North Korea while in office.
“We want to get it right,” Trump said of nuclear talks that had been stalled for months since a failed summit with Kim in Vietnam. “We’re not looking for speed. We want to get it right.”
But lower-level talks between North Korea and the US have yet to restart and there’s been little progress on the issue of denuclearisation since Kim and Trump’s first meeting in Singapore more than a year ago.
The Thursday launch may also be interpreted as a not-too-subtle message to Bolton, who had just left South Korea following a visit to Japan. Bolton has long been a hawk on North Korea issues. – Bloomberg