N.Korea Fires Missiles a Day After Founding Anniversary

  • By Yoon Hyung-jun

    September 10, 2019 11:35

    North Korea fired two short-range missiles toward the East Sea on Tuesday, military authorities here said, just hours after it offered to resume talks with the U.S.

    The Joint Chiefs of Staff said the projectiles were fired at around 7:00 a.m. from South Pyongan Province. Tuesday's was the 10th such launch so far this year.

    A missile blasts off in Tongchon, Kangwon Province on Aug. 16. /Yonhap

    In the fresh overture, North's Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui said in a statement a day earlier, "We are willing to sit face-to-face with the U.S. around late September at a time and place that we can agree on."

    That was the day when North Korea marked its 71st anniversary with no reports in the state media of major celebrations but instead some calls for economic self-sufficiency.

    The regime seems to have realized that any extravagance would not go down well with people everywhere pinched by international sanctions and rattled by typhoon damage.

    In an editorial on the front page, the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said it was a "miracle in miracles" that the North achieved a self-sufficient economy and defense capability "amid unbearable challenges and pressure."

    The newspaper touted the recent tests of an Iskander-type missile and a super-large multiple rocket launcher by referring to them as "Juche" weapons, the word for nation founder Kim Il-sung's self-sufficiency doctrine.

    North Koreans pay their respects to the late leaders of the country in Pyongyang as the country marks its 71st anniversary, in this image from [North] Korean Central Television the next day.

    Usually North Korea marks its foundation day with visits by high-ranking officials to the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, where the pickled corpses of Kim Il-sung and his son Kim Jong-il lie in state, as well as rallies and performances.

    But no such events were reported this year, and the state press only carried congratulatory letters from Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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