- North Korea fired two short-range missiles into the sea over the weekend after the US-South Korean military drills ended.
- The launch was the seventh and the latest carried out by North Korea amid stalled denuclearization talks.
- The US and South Korea remain optimistic that the talks between the US and the North will continue in a bid to maintain good ties.
North Korea fired two suspected short-range ballistic missiles into the sea on Saturday morning, according to authorities.
It was the seventh launch since North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met with United States President Donald Trump in June in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, in a bid to pursue working-level ties.
The launch came a day after North Korea vowed to remain the United States’ biggest threat, protesting the 10-day US-South Korean military exercises.
North Korea Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho even called US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a “poisonous plant of American diplomacy,” accusing him of casting “dark shadows” over the US-North Korea talks after Pompeo said Washington will maintain crippling sanctions on the country unless it denuclearizes.
Military officials noted that the projectiles flew about 380 kilometers (240 miles) and a maximum altitude of 97 kilometers (60 miles) before landing into the Sea of Japan.
BBC said that Japan’s Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya had confirmed that the missiles which landed in their territorial waters did not cause damage, but it was a clear violation of United Nations resolutions.
South Korea’s National Security Council claimed that while the joint military drills are over, The North’s continued launches are considered a “strong concern” while the joint military drills have concluded.
Mr. Trump said after Saturday’s tests that US has a good relationship with North Korea.
“Kim Jong Un has been…pretty straight with me,” he told reporters at the White House.
About 29,000 US soldiers are reportedly based in South Korea as part of a security agreement since the war ended in 1953.
Last week, South Korean deputy national security adviser Kim Hyun-chong expressed optimism about the resumption of talks between the North and the US.
“My impression was that North Korea and the United States would carry out dialogue soon, and it would go well,” he said in an interview.