North Korea fires short-range projectiles after offering talks with US

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Seoul, Sep 10 North Korea on Tuesday fired two short-range projectiles towards the East Sea, hours after Pyongyang offered to resume nuclear diplomacy with the United States but warned Washington the talks may end without new proposals.

The missiles were fired at 6.53 a.m. and 7.12 a.m. from areas in the city of Kaechon, South Pyongyang province, about 80 km north of the capital, Pyongyang, in an easterly direction, Yonhap News Agency quoted the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) as saying.

Both flew around 330 km, the JCS said.

Recently, North’s First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui has expressed willingness to resume denuclearization talks with the US and demanded Washington to come up with a new proposals.

President Donald 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.”

Both US and South Korea’s military is monitoring the situation while Seoul called the North “to instantly stop such acts that heighten tensions”.

Responding to the launches at this juncture, South Korea held an emergency National Security Council (NSC) meeting, presided over by Chung Eui-yong, chief of the presidential national security office.

A senior US government official said it is closely monitoring the situation in cooperation with its allies.

This the 10th such launch by North Korea since May.Short-range missiles and rocket artillery systems that experts say would potentially expand its capabilities to strike targets throughout South Korea, including American military bases.

The significant aspect is that Trump has been downplaying the Pyongyang’s tests as he had reiterated , “I say it again, There have been no nuclear tests. The missile tests have all been short-ranged — no ballistic missile test. No long-range missiles.”

As Kim Jong un has been sending letters to Trump and US president has been appreciating his relationship with the North Korean leader, the president has no issues with short-range missiles and termed them as ” short missiles are very standard” and also dismissed that the missiles could be a threat to US allies, namely South Korea and Japan.

By Arti Bali

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