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Iran Press TV

North Korea fires 2 unidentified projectiles seawards: South military

Iran Press TV

Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:48AM

North Korea has fired two "unidentified projectiles" seawards, South Korean military says, as Pyongyang has already warned that it could take a "new road" if the South and the US keep militarizing the Korean Peninsula.

According to a statement by South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), the projectiles were launched from near North Korea's eastern coastal city of Hamhung in South Hamgyong Province on Saturday.

"Our military is monitoring the situation in case of additional launches while maintaining a readiness posture," the JCS added, without giving further details, including their type, flight range and maximum altitude.

The launches came just four days after Pyongyang fired two projectiles believed to be the newly developed short-range ballistic missiles known as KN-23 into the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan.

Saturday's launches are also the fifth such launched since July 25, when it also fired two short-range missiles.

Pyongyang is angered by the joint military exercises by the US and its ally South Korea, which began in the region on Monday, saying that such drills violate agreements reached with US President Donald Trump and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in.

While the main drills will begin on August 11, low-key preparations have already started.

North Korea, currently under multiple rounds of harsh sanctions by the United Nations (UN) and the US over its nuclear and missile programs, put a unilateral halt to its missile and nuclear tests shortly before a diplomatic thaw began between Pyongyang and Seoul in early 2018.

That thaw later led to two summits between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to discuss the demilitarization of the Korean Peninsula, the first of which was held in Singapore in June last year and the second in Vietnam in February.

The Singapore summit made little progress, mainly because Washington refuses to lift its harsh sanctions on North Korea. The second one ended in failure as Trump abruptly walked away from the summit.

Failure of the Vietnam summit prompted the North to warn, in a number of occasions, that it was considering ending talks on denuclearization and resuming its nuclear and missile tests over what it described as "the gangster-like stand" of the US.

In their third, brief meeting at the Korean border at the end of June, the two leaders agreed to kick-start working-level talks.

Trump has so far played down Pyongyang's earlier tests by saying they do not break any of the agreements he had with Kim.

"I say it again: There have been no nuclear tests. The missile tests have all been short-range. No ballistic missile tests. No long-range missiles," he said on Friday.

Saturday's launches also came after the American President said that he had received a "very beautiful letter" from Kim, noting that the North's leader was unhappy with the current US-South Korea joint military exercises.

"It was a very positive letter. I think we'll have another meeting. He really wrote a beautiful, three-page - I mean great from top to bottom - a really beautiful letter," Trump added.

Washington has so far refused to offer any sanctions relief in return for several unilateral steps already taken by Pyongyang. North Korea has also demolished at least one nuclear test site and agreed to allow international inspectors into a missile engine test facility.

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