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Tuesday 20th March 2018

North Korea Fires Projectiles, Hours after Talks Offer with US

Counterterrorism & Security

7Dnews London

Tue, 10 Sep 2019 09:45 GMT

North Korea on Tuesday September 10th twice launched "unidentified projectiles" into the sea, in an easterly direction, South Korea's military said, according to AFP.

The objects flew approximately 330km (205 miles) from the Kaechon area in South Pyongyan province, according to the South Korean military. "We urge the North to stop such acts that escalate tensions in the region," South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

The North Korean launches come hours after Pyongyang said it was willing to hold working-level talks this month with the United States.

Negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington have been blockaded since a second summit between the North's leader Kim Jong-un and US President Trump in February ended with no deal.

"We are aware of reports of projectiles launched from North Korea," a senior US official said. "We are continuing to monitor the situation and consulting closely with our allies in the region."

Trump and Kim had agreed to restart working-level dialogue during an impromptu meeting at the Demilitarised Zone dividing the nuclear-armed North and South Korea in June, but those talks have yet to begin.

"We have willingness to sit with the US side for comprehensive discussions of the issues we have so far taken up, at the time and place to be agreed late in September," Choe Son-hui, the North's vice foreign minister, said in a statement carried on Monday by the official Korean Central News Agency.

Choe's comment followed her warning in late August that North Korea's "expectations of dialogue with the US are gradually disappearing,” after Pyongyang conducted a series of weapons tests to protest joint US-South Korean military exercises.

Asked about the possibility of lower-level talks in September, Trump told reporters: "I have a very good relationship with Chairman Kim. I always say having meetings is a good thing. We'll see what happens."

The period suggested by North Korea would correspond with the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

North Korea is under heavy US and UN sanctions over its weapons programmes and has criticised Washington's position that sanctions against the isolated regime will not be lifted until the country gives up its nuclear weapons.


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