WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Right after North Korea declared that the country is willing to renegotiate with the US on its arms program, South Korea’s military reported that twin ballistic projectiles were launched on Tuesday into the sea from Pyongyang.
- However, the North’s Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui stressed that should the US fail to come up with new proposals regarding its control over their nuclear programs, then talks will be ended.
- Trump said North Korea’s response is ‘interesting’ and said that ‘we’ll just see what happens’ next.
Hours after North Korea said it was open to renewing talks about its nuclear program with the United States if new proposals would be brought to the table, it launched two missiles on Tuesday into the sea, reported South Korea’s military.
The Associated Press reported that the twin launches that were carried out from a province north of its capital, Pyongyang, was the eighth ballistic missile test since July. It also comes as diplomatic discussions between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump have been foiled.
North Korea said on Monday that it was amenable to resume talks after both leaders met in June at the Demilitarized Zone. This week, however, North’s Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui released a terse warning that said the U.S. should come up with new proposals in its restriction of the country’s nuclear and ballistic missile program next time, otherwise, such talks would end.
According to a statement translated by Reuters, Choe said: “If the U.S. side fingers again the worn-out scenario which has nothing to do with the new calculation method at the DPRK-U.S. working negotiation to be held with so much effort, the DPRK-U.S. dealings may come to an end.”
It is believed that North Korea wants a string of guarantees to withdraw its arms development. A Vietnam meeting in February ended suddenly after Trump refused North Korea’s request to have its heavy economic sanctions lifted in exchange for a compromise to dismantle a small part of its nuclear program. Trump, instead, asked North Korea to exert more efforts to reduce Pyongyang’s nuclear weaponry, the Times reported. Kim then set a deadline for the U.S. in April, to reopen talks.
On Monday, Trump said he finds North Korea’s desire to renew talks “interesting” and said he would ‘see what happens’ next in the coming weeks.
“In the meantime, we have our hostages back, we’re getting the remains of our great heroes back and we’ve had no nuclear testing for a long time. I always say having meetings is a good thing, not a bad thing,” said Trump to reporters at the White House.
However, policy experts in North Korea hypothesized that launching projectiles just after offering diplomacy could mean a signal to the White House that if Trump won’t successfully reach a deal with Kim in the coming months, the country would carry on with its hostile weapons program.