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Iran Press TV

North Korea fires 2 unidentified projectiles eastward: South Korea

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 28 November 2019 9:55 AM

North Korea has launched "two unidentified projectiles" toward the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan, the South Korean military says, the latest in a series of missile launches amid deadlocked demilitarization talks with the United States.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a brief statement, carried by the country's Yonhap news agency, that the projectiles had been launched from South Hamgyong Province into the waters off the east coast of North Korea at around 4:59 p.m. local time on Thursday.

The JCS provided no further details about the launches, including the type of the devices involved or the distance they flew. It merely said the South Korean military was "monitoring the situation in case of additional launches and maintaining a readiness posture."

So far this year, North Korea has carried out such weapons tests 13 times, with the previous test-firing taking place in late October, when it launched two missiles from its super-large multiple rocket launcher toward the Sea of Japan.

According to the Yonhap report, in earlier launches this year, Pyongyang used new types of short-range missiles, including its version of Russia's Iskander, as well as an upgraded version of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), and Pukguksong-3.

North Korea had suspended missile tests last year amid a diplomatic opening with the US at the time. With that engagement now having stopped, North Korea has resumed the test launches.

Pyongyang has time and again warned Washington against an impasse in the diplomatic process between the two sides over the North's ballistic missile and nuclear programs, saying continuous hostilities could lead to a conflict.

Last month, Kim Yong-chol, chairman of the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, said at the time that "belligerent relations still persists that there can be an exchange of fire any moment."

He also warned that the White House was "misjudging the patience and tolerance" of North Korea.

His warning came days after Pyongyang walked away from working-level nuclear talks with Washington in Sweden, and has since repeatedly urged the US to come forward with a new offer by the end of this year.

North Korea initiated diplomacy with South Korea in 2018. The rapprochement between the long-time rivals then led to the diplomacy between Washington and Pyongyang, with Seoul acting as a broker.

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have since met three times. But lower-level diplomacy has snagged.

The US has refused to take meaningful action toward peace – including in the form of sanctions relief – despite several good faith measures by the North.

Even though the summits between Trump and Kim had helped partially propel the talks, Washington's obstinacy has led to Pyongyang refusing to agree to another "useless" summit.

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