Monday, 16 September, 2019

North Korea fires two unidentified projectiles into East Sea: JCS

North Korea Will Never Negotiate with Seoul again Foreign ministers of China, Japan, S Korea to hold talks amid trade, history tensions
Patty Aguilar | 17 August, 2019, 01:20

Pyongyang called South Korea's president "impudent" and added that inter-Korean talks were over.

The president had previously said that he'd like to end the "war games" held with South Korea, citing their cost.

In the statement, Pyongyang also denounced South Korea's ongoing joint military exercise with the USA and its mid-term defense plan where Seoul detailed its major defense projects for the 2020-2024 period, claiming that all of them "are aimed at destroying" the North.

According to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), the rockets were fired Friday morning at 8:01 a.m. and 8:16 a.m. from an area near Tongchon, Kangwon Province.

The launches have complicated attempts to restart talks between US and North Korean negotiators over the future of Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

Following a summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, there was talk of the North and South forging a lasting peace and putting decades of animosity behind them.

The loss of dialogue momentum between the North and South and the stalemate in implementing pledges made at a historic summit between their two leaders a year ago was entirely the responsibility of the South, a North Korean spokesman said.

Pyongyang's criticism of South Korean President Moon Jae-in harms inter-Korean relations and runs counter to agreements reached at the bilateral summits held previous year, a deputy spokesperson for South Korea's Unification Ministry said Friday.

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A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said initial information indicated at least one projectile was sacked by North Korea and appeared to be similar to the short-range missiles fired in previous weeks.

The Defense Ministry in Tokyo said the projectiles did not land on Japanese territory or inside the country's exclusive economic zone and thus did not directly affect its security.

Trump had downplayed the slew of short-range ballistic tests in recent weeks, saying they weren't nuclear.

Taking issue with Seoul's ongoing joint military drill with Washington, the spokesperson also called Moon a "funny man" who "just reads what was written by his juniors" and denounced his speech which marked the anniversary of the country's liberation from Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule as a "foolish commemorative speech" and "citation of spiritual slogans".

But the North threatened last week to carry out more weapons tests following the start of the latest joint drills between Seoul and Washington, which began on Aug.5.

The North has tested the missile, a modified version of the Russian Iskander, several times over the past three months, despite being subject to United Nations sanctions that bar it from testing any ballistic missile technology. Another official said the United States was consulting with South Korea and Japan.

The projectiles were fired from its eastern coastal region, the South's military announced earlier in the day.

The North's statement blamed the South for the deadlock of the "historic Panmunjom declaration", adding: "We have nothing to talk any more with the south Korean authorities nor have any idea to sit with them again".

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