North Korea launches ‘unidentified’ projectile, the second in less than a week

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:


  • For the second time in just a span of one week, North Korea has launched another”unidentified projectile” on Thursday, according to a South Korean military official.
  • On Saturday, North Korea launched several short-range projectiles which appear to be similar to Russia’s Iskander ballistic missile system.
  • KCNA reported on Wednesday that Saturday’s launch was a self-defensive military drill, but many saw it as a sign of the nation’s increasing frustration at stalled summits with the U.S. over its nuclear weapons.



North Korea on Thursday has launched an “unidentified projectile,” according to a South Korean military official.

The projectile, the second in less than a week, was fired east “from Sinori area located in Northern Pyongan Province” about 4:30 p.m. local time (3:30 a.m. ET), added the official.

The country launched several short-range projectiles on Saturday, which a South Korean military official has said to involve multiple rocket launchers, including “new tactical guidance weapons.”

State-controlled media outlet KCNA reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was present during last week’s launch. The news outlet said the launch was a military drill “to estimate and inspect the operating ability and the accuracy of striking duty performance of large-caliber long-range multiple rocket launchers and tactical guided weapons.”

On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that experts who reviewed photos from KCNA say that North Korea tested a new solid-fuel missile which appears to be modeled after Russia’s Iskander short-range ballistic missile system.

The nation’s foreign ministry spokesman was quoted by KCNA as saying that Saturday’s launch was a self-defensive military drill, however, the South Korean official described it as provocative while many saw it as a sign of North Korea’s increasing frustration at stalled diplomatic talks with the U.S. over denuclearization.

In February,  U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un abruptly ended their second summit held in Vietnam after they were unable to reach a denuclearization agreement.

Trump said that the negotiations fell apart over Kim’s demand that all U.S. “sanctions be lifted in exchange for concessions on Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.” Washington has stated that the sanctions will remain until Pyongyang makes more significant moves. Both countries say they are still open to a third summit.

Even after last week’s launch, Trump is still optimistic that a “deal” would still happen.

“Anything in this very interesting world is possible,” Trump said in a tweet Saturday, “but I believe that Kim Jong Un fully realizes the great economic potential of North Korea, & will do nothing to interfere or end it,”

North Korea has reportedly launched six suspected nuclear weapons, with the most recent occurred in September 2017. The same year in November, Pyongyang launched a missile that Western officials claimed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Last year, Kim announced that the nation has suspended additional nuclear tests.

 

Source: NBC News

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