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North Korea fires unidentified projectiles toward East Sea

11 September 2019

North Korea fired two short-range projectiles Tuesday, hours after offering to resume nuclear talks with the United States.

The projectiles were launched in an easterly direction from an inland area in the South Pyongan Province, the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said without providing further details, such as the type of the projectiles, flight range and maximum altitude.

The launch was the North's first in 17 days, but its 10th missile test this year, as Pyongyang appears to be pressuring the USA amid their stalled dialogue process.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed in a June 30 meeting with US President Donald Trump to reopen working-level talks stalled since their failed February summit in Hanoi, but this has yet to happen in spite of repeated appeals from Washington.

Trump was asked about the offer while speaking to reporters at the White House and as he often does, mentioned his "good relationship" with Kim.

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Choe's statement and the following projectile launches were apparently aimed at pressuring the United States to make concessions when the North Korea-U.S. talks restart.

Choe stressed that Washington needed to present a new approach or the talks could fall apart again.

It is North Korea's tenth round of weapons tests since early May, when Pyongyang resumed launching ballistic missiles following a year-and-a-half hiatus.

He also said the USA administration was disappointed about the short-range missile tests but didn't consider them a deal breaker.

Trump said that Kim had only agreed to stop testing long-range ballistic missiles - the type that can reach the United States mainland - and nuclear weapons. Trump rejected Kim's demand for relief from the debilitating USA economic sanctions in return for partial denuclearization.

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The period suggested by North Korea would correspond with the United Nations Standard Assembly in NY. "We are continuing to keep track of the scenario and consulting closely with our allies in the location".

Pyongyang's hottest feedback on talks appear after the U.S. distinctive envoy to North Korea, Stephen Biegun, said the North have to quit blocking nuclear talks. But our mission set at the State Department is very clear: "to get back to the [negotiating] table", Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the ABC News show This Week on Sunday.

Japan's defense chief blasted the tests as a "very serious issue", saying Tokyo was "making every effort to stay vigilant" of the North Korean nuclear threat, highlighting that Pyongyang is banned from the use of all ballistic missile technology under United Nations sanctions resolutions.

"Tuesday's launch is the latest warning that Pyongyang may take the "new path" referenced in Kim's speech", according to Kim Dong-yub with Seoul's Institute for Far Eastern Studies.

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North Korea fires unidentified projectiles toward East Sea