North Korea Fires Short-Range 'Projectiles' Into East Sea

North Korea fires short-range missile from Wonsan towards the east

USA and South Korean defense officials are investigating the launch of the "projectiles", the latest weapons test by North Korea as negotiations with the U.S.to denuclearize the East Asian country stall.

South Korea called on North Korea to stop raising military tensions, after the North fired a barrage of projectiles into the sea off the east coast of Korea. Soon after that missile test, the North declared that its nuclear force was complete, after which Pyongyang extended an olive branch to the South and the United States.

But with negotiations lagging, the North appears to be testing the U.S. side. "We will continue to monitor as necessary", White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said.

As North Korea began reaching out to the United States, South Korea and other countries from previous year, Abe has hoped to hold talks with Kim on the condition there would be progress on the issue of Pyongyang's past abductions of Japanese nationals.

"Clearly, Pyongyang is frustrated with the conclusion of the recent summit with Washington in Vietnam that did not produce any breakthrough", Center for the National Interest director Harry J. Kazianis told The New York Times.

Mr Kim has expressed increasing frustration since Mr Trump refused his demands for sanctions relief and walked out of their second summit in Hanoi in February. North Korea, meanwhile, test-fired short-range missiles.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha talked by phone with Pompeo about the North Korean launches, Kang's ministry said in a statement.

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Several missiles flew 70km to 200km, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said later.

Last week, on the first anniversary of the inter-Korean summit in Panmunjom, Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Washington and Seoul "keep pushing the situation of the Korean peninsula and the region to an undesirable phase", criticising their joint military exercises.

Japan's Ministry of Defense issued a statement that they had detected nothing entering their economic zone and that therefore did not see any threat to their national security.

Surveillance and vigilance in preparation of further launches by North Korea have been ramped up, the Office of the Joint Chief of Staffs said.

Hodo has been used in the past for launching cruise missiles and long-range artillery testing.

Since November 2017, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has observed a self-imposed moratorium on missile tests.

Last week, he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok, and accused the U.S. of "bad faith" in nuclear talks.

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