UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — North Korea launched two “unspecified missiles” on Thursday as Seoul announced a US Thanksgiving holiday as the nuclear talks between Pyongyang and Washington remain frozen.
The brief announcement by the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said Pyongyang fired two missiles east of the southern province of Hamgyong that landed in the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea.
He said the two missiles were fired at 16:59 local time, in the early morning hours in Washington, coinciding with the start of Thanksgiving in the United States – the largest annual US holiday.
The launch also comes a day before the first anniversary of the first Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile test, which analysts say is capable of reaching the entire US mainland.
Japan’s Defense Ministry described the two shells as “ballistic-like” but said they did not land in the country’s exclusive economic zone.
Pyongyang is banned from firing ballistic missiles under UN Security Council resolutions.
The latest launch is part of a series of weapons tests conducted by Pyongyang after testing a key “multi-missile” system last month.
US President Donald Trump has played down recent tests by repeatedly pointing out that North Korea’s halt to its nuclear tests and intercontinental ballistic missile launches are evidence of his foreign policy successes.
– Impasse –
Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un adopted a statement whose interpretation remained unclear, referring to the “denuclearization of the Korean peninsula” at their first summit in Singapore in June last year, but little progress has been made since.
Negotiations have been deadlocked since the second summit between the US president and the North Korean leader in Hanoi in February, which collapsed without an agreement or a joint final communique in February.
North Korea is subject to international sanctions over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, while the call for lifting some of them was a key demand at the Hanoi summit.
Earlier this month, Seoul and Washington announced they would postpone joint military exercises in a gesture of goodwill toward North Korea, a declaration that Pyongyang ignored.
North Korea has consistently condemned the joint exercises as an invasion exercise and has carried out several missile launches in the summer to protest as Washington and Seoul hold their annual exercises.
North Korea has issued a series of increasingly tough remarks in recent weeks as the US deadline until the end of the year for new bids nears completion.
Trump alluded to a fourth meeting with Kim in a tweet earlier this month, which was met with a stinging response from North Korea, which said it was not interested in holding summits that “do nothing for us.”
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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