North Korea launches several projectiles towards the sea

US, WASHINGTON (NEWS OBSERVATORY) — North Korea fired several short-range projectiles into the sea on Monday as part of exercises, a week after it resumed missile tests after three months of stopping, the South Korean military said.

The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the projectiles, which included multiple launchers of missile launchers, crossed 200 km and reached a height of 50 km.

The General Staff added that the shells were fired from the coastal town of Sundock, which includes a military airport. North Korea launched missiles from that region last year.

She pointed out that the launching of these missiles appears to be part of the ongoing missile training exercises conducted since late last month and supervised by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Hopes for dialogue increased when Kim met US President Donald Trump at a historic summit in Singapore in June 2018. But little progress was achieved despite two other meetings between the two leaders.

A State Department spokeswoman said, “We continue to call on North Korea to avoid provocations and abide by its obligations under United Nations Security Council resolutions and to return to sustainable and objective negotiations to fulfill its role to achieve complete nuclear disarmament.”

A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that North Korea launched at least three projectiles towards the East Sea, and that detailed analysis is ever underway.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry called on all parties to resort to dialogue and demonstrate flexibility and said the situation was “complex and sensitive”.

“We urge all parties to make positive efforts to calm down the situation in order to continue the talks … and achieve nuclear disarmament and lasting peace in the region and on the Korean peninsula,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang.

The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff expressed “deep regret” over the launch and said it was monitoring any additional tests.

Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono said the projectiles appeared to be ballistic missiles and did not fall into the exclusive economic zone, but he indicated that the government was still examining detailed information about the launch.

Britain, Germany, France, Estonia and Belgium raised the latest North Korean missile launches at the United Nations Security Council on Thursday, calling it a provocative act in violation of United Nations resolutions.

The North Korean foreign ministry has criticized the European position, calling it “a reckless behavior incited by the United States.”

The official Korean Central News Agency published a statement by the North Korean leader’s sister, saying that the recent exercises are not aimed at threatening anyone.


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