North Korea said Friday its latest missile launch was a warning to South Korean “warmongers” to stop importing weapons and administering joint military drills, a message that analysts mentioned was also aimed at the U.S.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un personally watched the test-fire of two short-range ballistic missiles on Thursday, the first take a look at since Kim met with U.S. President Donald Trump last month and agreed to restore denuclearization talks.
The missile checks raise doubts about the revival of denuclearization talks, which stalled after the collapse of a second summit between Kim and Trump in Hanoi in February.
We cannot, however, develop nonstop super-powerful weapon systems to remove the potential and direct threats to the safety of our nation that exist within the south,” Kim stated, according to state news agency KCNA.
An official at Seoul’s defense ministry mentioned the missiles had been believed to be a brand new sort of short-range ballistic missile; an evaluation resounded on Friday by the U.S.-South Korea Combined Forces Command (CFC).
The official additionally stated the missiles bore traits just like Russia’ SS-26 Iskander and those the North tested in May – a relatively small, quick missile that experts say is easier to hide, launch and maneuver in flight.
A spokesman for the CFC stated in an announcement the launches had been “not a threat directed at [South Korea] or the U.S., and do not influence our defense posture.”
North Korea accused Washington of breaking that promise by planning to carry joint army exercises with South Korea subsequent month and warned of a possible end to its freeze on nuclear and long-range missile tests.
Whereas Friday’s message may be very clearly directed at Seoul, it does send signals to Washington as well, stated Jenny Town, managing editor at 38 North, a project that studies North Korea.
“On some level, that is like North Korea’s version of most pressure on South Korea and the United States.”