- Pyongyang warns Seoul not to ignore it's capabilities.
- North Korea describes the missiles it fired on thursday as 'a new type of guided tactical weapon.'
- North Korea is not happy with the scheduled August joint military exercises by US and South Korean forces.
The missiles that North Korea fired on Thursday are “a new type of guided tactical weapon,” the official KCNA news agency said on Friday. North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un “took it upon himself to organize and led” the trial of the “ultramodern weapon system,” which is “a solemn warning to the South Korean warlock military,” said KCNA. The announcement of the official news agency refers to the Thursday’s launch by North Korea of two short-range missiles that fell in the Sea of Japan.
It was the first missile strike since US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un met on June 30th in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between the two Koreas. The two leaders, Trump and Kim then decided to resume discussions between Washington and Pyongyang on the denuclearization of the peninsula, which had stalled for several months. The talks have, however, not yet resumed.
The scheduled August joint military exercises by US and South Korean forces irk North Korea. Pyongyang warned that the would-be August joint exercises could prevent the resumption of talks with Washington on North Korea’s nuclear potential. In this context, KCNA reported Friday that Kim Jong-un had criticized Seoul’s attitude. South Korean officials “have a very strange double-dealing behavior,” referring to peace but putting behind-the-scenes “state-of-the-art offensive weapons” and “performing joint military exercises,” Kim said, according to the official news agency.
The South Korean “main official [no doubt a reference to South Korean President Moon Jae-in] must not make the mistake of ignoring Pyongyang’s warning,” Kim warned, according to KCNA. North Korea, he added, must “continuously develop powerful weapon systems to ward off potential and direct threats” to his national security from South Korea.
The South Korean Joint Staff announced Thursday that two missiles had been fired shortly after dawn from Wonsan, on the eastern coast of North Korea. One traveled 430 kilometers before falling into the sea. The other, which appeared to be “a new type of missile,” traveled 690 kilometers, according to the South Koreans.
The Japanese defense minister spoke of “extremely regrettable” fires, the South Korean National Security Office expressed “deep concern,” and America implored the need to end unnecessary “provocations.”
According to KCNA, Kim Jong-un said the new “advanced” missiles could fly at low altitude, making them difficult to intercept. He warned Seoul against the temptation to “ignore the implicit warning” they represent.
Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, says that he firmly believes the working talks with Pyongyang would take place as planned. “We remain convinced that there is a way forward on the path of diplomacy, a negotiated solution to all this,” said Pompeo, adding that he was not worried about the delay in returning to the negotiating table. “If it takes two or four weeks, that’s the way it is. ”
Pyongyang had already launched in May similar short-range gear, its first tests since November 2017. But Donald Trump had brushed them off, speaking of “something very standard,” a position he reiterated on Thursday during an interview with Fox News. “They did not really test anything other than small missiles, which is done by a lot of people,” he said.