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N Korea fires 2 projectiles into sea; says it won't sit down with S Korea for talks again

29 Comments
By Josh Smith and Jack Kim

North Korea launched at least two projectiles into the sea on Friday, 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 military drills conducted by South Korea and the United States, 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 unidentified projectiles into the sea off its east coast on Friday morning, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement.

Japan's defense ministry said it did not see any imminent security threat from the latest projectile launch.

A U.S. 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.

The "unidentified projectiles" were launched shortly after 8 a.m. Friday and flew around 230 kms to an altitude of 30 kms, South Korea's JCS reported.

The launches have complicated attempts to restart talks between U.S. and North Korean negotiators over the future of Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

Those denuclearization talks have been stalled despite a commitment to revive them made at a June 30 meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Earlier on Friday, Pyongyang rejected a vow by South Korean President Moon Jae-in a day earlier to pursue talks with the North and to unify the two Koreas by 2045.

The loss of dialogue momentum between the North and South and the stalemate in implementing pledges made at an historic summit between their two leaders last year was entirely the responsibility of the South, a North Korean spokesman said.

The unidentified spokesman repeated criticism that the joint U.S.-South Korea drills were a sign of Seoul's hostility towards the North.

"We have nothing to talk any more with the South Korean authorities nor have any intention to sit with them again," the North's spokesman for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

The committee manages relationships with the South. The rival Koreas are technically still at war after the 1950-53 Korean War ended with a truce rather than a peace treaty.

South Korea's unification ministry called North Korea's comments about Moon "not in line" with inter-Korean agreements and unhelpful for developing relations between them.

After an emergency meeting of South Korea's National Security Council held to discuss the launches, officials reiterated that the joint drills are simply an opportunity to evaluate whether South Korea could eventually assume wartime control of the allied forces on the peninsula.

Moon and Kim have met three times since April last year, pledging peace and cooperation, but little progress has been made to improve dialogue and strengthen exchanges and cooperation.

"North Korea makes it exceedingly difficult to build trust when it interprets restraint as weakness and looks to exploit divisions within South Korea," said Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul.

Seoul and Washington should continue to seek working-level talks with North Korea but the allies should also prepare new sanctions and renewed military cooperation if Pyongyang continues to violate United Nations resolutions and threaten its neighbors, Easley said.

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 maneuvers.

"His open talk about 'dialogue' between the North and the South under such a situation raises a question as to whether he has proper thinking faculty," the spokesman said.

It was "senseless" to think that inter-Korean dialogue would resume once the military drills with the United States were over, he said.

However, the spokesman left open the possibility of talks with the United States.

Trump and Kim have met twice since their first summit in Singapore last year and said their countries would continue talks. However, little progress has been made on the North's stated commitment to denuclearize.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

29 Comments
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North Korea launched at least two projectiles into the sea

Will Kim tell Trump he's sorry again (assuming he actually did apologize), or does being in love mean he doesn't have to say that.

However, little progress has been made on the North's stated commitment to denuclearize.

Trump's primary effect has been to increase Trump brand awareness in NEAsia and around the globe. That's what he's probably wanted out of his presidency all along. That and lowering taxes for himself and his fellow nabobs. And also ensuring Ivanka, Inc. gets better established in China and around the globe. Does anyone know if the trademarks she and her daddy arranged with the CCP have been affected by Trump's bumbling in China?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

In political terms "never" for NK probably means only until the next "aid" package is approved and sent across the border!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The US will NEVER allow unification as it would mean removing its missile base and military from SK. These military exercises are arranged by the US to provoke NK and to continue souring relationships between NK and SK. South Korea were instructed, told by the US, we will have military exercises, full stop.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

It looks like Kim dislikes Moon as enemy. It is understandable that both Koreas are still at war.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Good going for the Moon. He put all his eggs in uniting the two Koreas and destroyed SK's relationship with Japan, threatened to destroy the US-JPN-SK alliance, and Kim wants nothing to do with him. How long will it take for this incompetent's approval ratings to hit the floor?

1 ( +7 / -6 )

never say never

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

"We have nothing to talk any more with the South Korean authorities nor have any idea to sit with them again,"

> "impudent guy"

> "His open talk about 'dialogue' raises a question as to whether he has proper thinking faculty,"

I am lost who is saying this? I have never agreed with these guys but this is exception and probably the last

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Somebody needs a role-model or hug because they fill lonely and ignored!

What does it feel like to live in country run by pubescent teenage girl with low self-esteem and daddy issues? Any Americans want to comment first?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Can't be a coincidence Senior Moon recently 'softened' his stance towards Japan.

He has learned a valuable lesson, which will conveniently be forgotten soon, that one can never trust a rogue state like North Korea.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

This should explain the “olive branch” Moon unexpectedly extended to Japan earlier .

Good luck getting Japan’s cooperation after all assets seize, the government sponsored boycott of Japanese goods and North-South reunification talks in order to destroy Japan.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

And Trump will have absolutely no problem with it.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

OssanAmerica: "How long will it take for this incompetent's approval ratings to hit the floor?"

As opposed to Abe, who will lick Trump's boots and beg for help while Trump tells him, "I don't have a problem with it. They weren't nuclear. Kim's a great guy!" I guarantee there's a visit to the abductees' kin around the corner!

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

The US will NEVER allow unification 

China and Russian will NEVER allow unification UNDER DEMOCRATIC government.

These military exercises are arranged by the US to provoke NK and to continue souring relationships between NK and SK. South Korea were instructed, told by the US, we will have military exercises, full stop.

NK's missile firings are arranged with the approval of China and Russia to intimidate SK into ultimately accepting a peace treaty and unification under DPRK terms.

N Korea says it never sit down with S Korea for talks again

Can't be a coincidence Senior Moon recently 'softened' his stance towards Japan

This should explain the “olive branch” Moon unexpectedly extended to Japan earlier 

It does look like it, doesn't it? Moon is looking to Japan to help pull his chestnuts out of the fire.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Trump is useless on North Korea, and most likely counter-productive.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

North Korea is trying to help Moon by reminding Abe administration what would happen the day after the GSOMIA is terminated.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Just goes to show you cannot trust Kim to act rationally. SK should realize that, and stop hoping for anything other than containment of the ongoing threat the North offers for as long as the Kim Family Regime is in existence.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Does baby Kim need to be burped or changed?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

oldman_13Today  10:31 am JST

one can never trust a rogue state like North Korea.

and the south one

3 ( +5 / -2 )

"Your Excellency Mr President,

*I would like to thank you for your unconditional trust and "beautiful patience." With you, I have achieved a celebrity status and widely respected as a tough leader who dares to challenge the big threats of the US President. I hope that you will not mind if we continue to conduct more missile tests in the coming weeks*."

Kim Jong-Un

Ah ha! The last sentence in my imagined letter posted under the article titled "Trump sides with N Korea's Kim on missile tests, war games" (on August 10) now becomes true.

Obviously, Kim and his Government never consider Trump as a capable and intelligent president. I presume that unless Trump gave North Korea a considerable concession, Kim will likely continue to do his own way .

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"We have nothing to talk any more with the South Korean authorities nor have any idea to sit with them again,"

That is what was actually said.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Probably just L'il Kim having a double dummy spit!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This Korean Punch and Judy show keeps interrupting Trump's executive time in front of his TV sets. Now he'll have to get up from his couch and write Kim another spell-checked, diplomatic love letter pronto offering some economic relief for Rocketman if he promises to put away his toys. And Kim had better send the irascible Trump another beautiful, ego-stroking reply, or else their beautiful bromance may soon go south. Then they'll have to kiss and make up all over again at some later date, which will make the hapless Trump feel as if he's wandered into a never-ending Korean Groundhog Day where he can't fire anyone.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What's the Korean for "If you won't play by our rules we're just gonna take our missiles and go home"?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@riperez@hotmail.com.au

These military exercises are arranged by the US to provoke NK and to continue souring relationships between NK and SK.

No.

NK and SK are capable of having a sour relationship by themselves.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@BigYen

Just goes to show you cannot trust Kim to act rationally. SK should realize that, and stop hoping for anything other than containment of the ongoing threat the North offers for as long as the Kim Family Regime is in existence.

Kim has been acting rationally. It’s Moon who hasn’t.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Kim has been acting rationally. It’s Moon who hasn’t.

I know Moon hasn't been acting rationally. That was kind of the implication of my post. So far as Kim is concerned, I don't think the missile launches over Japan or the threats and rhetoric of recent times exactly show Kim to be a rational man. Not the way I understand that word, anyway.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kim is more rational than Moon, he’s 1/4 Japanese after all: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ko_Yong-hui

lol, but no kidding aside, had know idea Kim was 1/4 Japanese and his mother loved Japan and sang him and his sister Japanese folk songs since they were children. Perhaps Abe should meet with Kim after all!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The US will NEVER allow unification as it would mean removing its missile base and military from SK.

Not immediately and how do you know the US doesn’t want it? You really don’t. First of all China would have serious problems with that, that is where your REAL rests.

These military exercises are arranged by the US to provoke NK and to continue souring relationships between NK and SK.

And North Koreans firing ballistic missiles all over and around Japan?

South Korea were instructed, told by the US, we will have military exercises, full stop.

Can you prove that?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Reunification is up to both Koreas. If they want it, then they will make it happen, but it isn't the same as East/West Germany who were split up unwillingly. N.Korea tried to take over all of Korea and make it a dictatorship. The families want reunification. The leadership of the North doesn't, for obvious reasons. Seeing Kim and the top 200 military leaders in The Hague for crimes against the Korean people would be good.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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