North Korea fires 2 short-range projectiles, Seoul says

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North Korea fires 2 short-range projectiles
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Seoul – North Korea fired two-short range projectiles into the sea off its eastern coast on Thursday, South Korea said, the latest in a series of weapons tests carried out amid stalled nuclear talks with the U.S.

The South Korean military said in a statement that the two projectiles were launched within minutes of each other from western South Pyongan Province.

It added that it was monitoring the situation.

The two objects flew 370 kilometres across the Korean peninsula and into the sea, reaching a maximum height of 90 kilometres.

The military did not offer a description of the type of projectile.

South Korea’s National Security Council held an emergency meeting and expressed “strong concern,” the Yonhap news agency reported.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he “strongly condemns” the launch.

Kyodo News said Abe’s government believes the projectiles were short-range ballistic missiles.

North Korea has frequently flouted UN Security Council resolutions banning the country from firing ballistic missiles.

On Oct. 2, Pyongyang fired a presumed submarine-launched ballistic missile from waters off its east coast.

The latest launch comes after North Korea expressed frustration with the pace of nuclear negotiations with the U.S.

Officials from North Korea and the U.S. met near Stockholm in early October, but the working-level meeting did not result in a breakthrough.

U.S. President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on the military demarcation line inside the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea at the end of June and agreed to resume negotiations on Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme.

Trump is seeking North Korea’s denuclearisation and has pressured the communist country by ramping up economic sanctions, but progress has stalled in the nuclear talks in spite of the high-profile June meeting.

Kim has repeatedly test-fired ballistic missiles in the meantime.

Meanwhile, Kim offered his condolences to South Korean President Moon Jae In for the death of his 92-year-old mother earlier this week.

Kim expressed his “deep sympathy” over Moon’s loss in a letter sent to Seoul, a spokeswoman for the South Korean president said on Thursday.

It was not known if Kim raised other issues in his letter.

Moon’s mother Kang Han Ok died on Tuesday. She was born in the north of the Korean peninsula and fled to the south during the Korean War.

Moon and Kim have pledged to improve ties after decades of hostilities, although that effort has also faltered.

They met three times in 2018, including twice at the Panmunjom border village and once in Pyongyang.


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