North Korea launches two projectiles, hours after nuclear talks offer | World news

North Korea launches two projectiles, hours after nuclear talks offer | World news

North Korea has launched two projectiles toward the sea, South Korea’s military said, hours after Pyongyang offered to resume nuclear diplomacy with the United States but warned its dealings with Washington may end without new proposals.

The launches on Tuesday and demand for new proposals were apparently aimed at pressuring Washington to make concessions when the North Korea-US talks restart. Pyongyang is widely believed to want the United States to provide security guarantees and extensive relief from US-led sanctions in return for limited denuclearisation steps.

The projectiles fired from the South Phyongan province, which surrounds Pyongyang, flew about 330km (205 miles), according to South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff and defence ministry.

There was no immediate information on whether the projectiles were ballistic missiles or rocket artillery.

The represent the eighth round of launches since late July and the first since 24 August. The previous seven launches have revealed short-range missile and rocket artillery systems that experts say would potentially expand its capabilities to strike targets throughout South Korea, including American military bases.

On Monday night, the North’s first vice foreign minister, Choe Son Hui, said her country was willing to resume nuclear diplomacy in late September but that Washington must come to the negotiating table with acceptable new proposals. She said if the proposals didn’t satisfy North Korea, dealings between the two countries may end.

President Trump called North Korea’s announcement “interesting.”

“We’ll see what happens,” Trump said. “In the meantime, we have our hostages back, we’re getting the remains of our great heroes back and we’ve had no nuclear testing for a long time.”

There was no immediate comment from the White House following reports of the launches.

Japan’s defence ministry said the projectiles did not land in Japan’s territorial waters or its exclusive economic zone. The ministry’s statement said there was no indication the launches posed a direct threat to Japan’s security.

Talks on North Korea’s nuclear disarmament fell apart in February when Trump rejected North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s demand for sweeping sanctions relief in return for partial disarmament at their second summit in Vietnam.

Kim and Trump met again at the Korean border in late June and agreed to restart diplomacy, but there have no public meetings between the sides since then.


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