North Korea fires short-range missile eastward – S. Korea
Published time: 4 May, 2019 00:42
Edited time: 4 May, 2019 01:27
FILE PHOTO: North Korean soldiers ride a multiple rocket launcher © Reuters / Danish Siddiqui
North Korea has fired a short-range missile eastward from the city of Wonsan on its east coast, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.
The missiles went off at 9:06 a.m. on Saturday from the east coast town of Wonsan in the direction of the Sea of Japan (known in the Koreas as the East Sea) today, the agency reported, quoting South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).
South Korean and US authorities are reportedly analyzing the firing.
Disarmament talks between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump collapsed in Hanoi earlier this year when the US leader refused to relax sanctions without Pyonyangs unconditional denuclearization.
Following a summit in Vladivostok last month, Vladimir Putin affirmed Russia’s support for gradual nuclear disarmament in exchange for sanctions relief.
Putin and Trump discussed the issue in a phone call on Friday, agreeing on the need to pursue denuclearization, with Trump pushing Putin to join the US in applying pressure on Kim to disarm.
Thawing relations between North and South Korea have seemingly reversed their course in the aftermath of the failed Hanoi summit, with Pyongyang pulling out of a celebration of the anniversary of last year’s historic summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim in the DMZ, and ceasing to attend weekly joint meetings.
The North has also slammed the South for ramping up its participation in “war games” with the US, warning lat week that a “corresponding response” was imminent in the face of such “acts of perfidy.” The US and South Korea began two weeks of joint air force exercises last Monday, a more low-key version of the annual Max Thunder drills.
North Korea conducted 17 missile tests in 2017, provoking international outcry when several of the missiles passed over Japan. Last year, Kim began dismantling the North’s missile and rocket test site, a process that has reportedly been reversed in the wake of the failed Hanoi nuclear talks.