North Korea threatens to take ‘new road’, launches more missiles
North Korea fired missiles into the sea off its east coast for the fourth time in less than two weeks, the South Korean military said on Tuesday, as Pyongyang protested that joint U.S.-South Korea military drills violated diplomatic agreements, reports Trend referring to Reuters.
The North, criticizing the U.S.-South Korean drills and their use of high-tech weapons, has fired a series of missiles and rockets since its leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed at a June 30 meeting to revive stalled denuclearization talks.
Trump has played down the tests by saying they did not break any agreement he had with Kim but the talks have yet to resume. Analysts believe the tests are designed both to improve North Korean military capabilities and to pressure Washington to offer more concessions.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles were fired from near Kwail on North Korea's west coast, about 125 km (80 miles) southwest of Pyongyang, in South Hwanghae province early on Tuesday. They were the fourth set of launches since July 25.
The missiles flew about 450 km (280 miles) and reached an altitude of 37 km (23 miles), the JCS said. U.S. and South Korean intelligence agencies deemed they had similar flight characteristics to the short-range ballistic missiles launched by North Korea on July 25, it said.
Kim Dong-yub, a military expert at South Korea's Kyungnam University, said the latest launch area was significant because the flight path of 450 km meant that all of South Korea was in range of such missiles.
It becomes difficult to detect the origin of the launch in advance because it is capable of launching a missile from most anywhere in North Korea, targeting all of South Korea, he said.
South Korea's defense ministry said on Tuesday the missile launch went against the spirit of easing tension on the Korean peninsula.
Source: Trend News Agency