July 25, 2019 08:17
North Korea fired two projectiles off its east coast, South Korea's military said early Thursday, Pyongyang's latest provocation amid stalled nuclear talks.
South Korea's joint chiefs of staff said the projectiles were launched from near North Korea's eastern city of Wonsan and traveled approximately 430 kilometers. They were launched at 5:34 a.m. and 5:57 a.m.
The statement by South Korea's joint chiefs of staff did not elaborate what kind of projectiles were launched. If Seoul's estimate is correct, however, it would appear to be a relatively short-range projectile.
An earlier message said Seoul's military is monitoring the situation in case of addition launches and is maintaining a ready posture.
The North Korean launch threatens to further delay nuclear talks with the United States. U.S. officials have said they would like to begin working-level talks as soon as possible.
Last week, North Korea threatened to resume intercontinental ballistic missile launches and nuclear tests if the U.S. and South Korea go ahead with planned joint military exercises.
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met last month at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, where they agreed to restart talks. The U.S. has not responded to the latest launches.
Kim declared a moratorium on all nuclear and ICBM tests in April 2018. Pyongyang, however, launched several short-range ballistic missiles and other projectiles in May.
"Estimating the distance, it is likely that it is the same Iskander type that was shot in May," Jeffrey Lewis, an expert in nuclear nonproliferation with the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, told VOA's Korea Service.
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