North Korea launched at least two short-range ballistic missiles yesterday, South Korea’s military said, shortly after Pyongyang described South Korea’s president as “impudent” and vowed that inter-Korean talks are over.
The North has protested against joint US-South Korea military drills, largely computer-simulated, which kicked off last week, calling them a rehearsal for war. It has also fired several short-range missiles in recent weeks.
North Korea fired two more short-range projectiles into the sea off its east coast yesterday morning, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement.
Japan’s defence ministry said it did not see any imminent security threat from the latest projectile launch.
A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said initial information indicated at least one projectile was fired by North Korea and appeared to be similar to the short-range missiles fired in previous weeks. Another official said the United States was consulting with South Korea and Japan.
An official at Seoul’s defence ministry said the latest test involved ballistic technology and detailed analysis was under way with the United States with the possibility that the North fired the same type of missiles it used on August 10.
The South’s Moon said in a Liberation Day address on Thursday it was only through his policy of Korean national peace that dialogue with the North was still possible.
“In spite of a series of worrying actions taken by North Korea recently, the momentum for dialogue remains unshaken,” Moon said in a speech marking Korea’s independence from Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule.
The North’s spokesman described Moon as an “impudent guy” who is “overcome with fright”.
He said Moon had no standing to talk about engagement with the North because of the ongoing military manoeuvres.