clearn.png
Tuesday December 1st, 2020 7:55PM

North Korea fires projectiles days before resuming US talks

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea fired projectiles toward its eastern sea Wednesday, South Korea's military and Japan's government said, in an apparent display of its expanding military capabilities ahead of planned nuclear negotiations with the United States this weekend.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff did not immediately confirm what the weapons were, how many were fired or how far they flew.

But Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the North fired two ballistic missiles from the country's east coast, and one of them appeared to have landed inside Japan's exclusive economic zone off its northwestern coast. There were no reports of damage to Japanese vessels or aircraft traveling in the area, he said. The North had not fired a weapon that reached inside Japan's EEZ since November 2017 at the height of an unusually provocative run in nuclear and missile tests.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned the launches and said they violate U.N. resolutions against the North.

"We will continue to cooperate with the U.S. and the international community and do the utmost to maintain and protect the safety of the people as we stay on alert," Abe said.

The launches, which were the North's ninth round of weapons tests since late July, came hours after a senior North Korean diplomat said North Korea and the United States have agreed to resume working-level nuclear negotiations this weekend.

After supervising a testing firing of what the North described as a "newly developed super-large multiple rocket launcher" last month, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was quoted by state media as saying that the system would require a "running fire test" to complete its development.

North Korea could also be demonstrating its displeasure over South Korea displaying for the first time some of its newly purchased U.S.-made F-35 stealth fighter jets at its Armed Forces Day ceremony on Tuesday. The North has called the F-35 purchases a grave provocation that violate recent inter-Korean agreements aimed at lowering military tensions.

Kim Dong-yub, an analyst from Seoul's Institute for Far Eastern Studies and a former military official who participated in inter-Korean military talks, said the North's launch was clearly aimed at increasing pressure on Washington ahead of planned weekend talks where it might demand concessions on U.S.-led sanctions against its crippled economy.

Nuclear negotiations halted following a February summit between Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump in Vietnam that broke down after the U.S. rejected North Korean demands for broad sanctions relief in exchange for partially surrendering its nuclear capabilities.

North Korea's subsequent belligerent rhetoric and recent short-range weapons tests have been seen as an attempt to gain leverage before resuming the negotiations.

In a statement released through state media, Choe Son Hui, North Korea's first vice minister of foreign affairs, said the two nations will have preliminary contact on Friday before holding working-level talks on Saturday. She did not say where it would take place.

"It is my expectation that the working-level negotiations would accelerate the positive development of the DPRK-U.S. relations," Choe said in the statement, using an abbreviation for North Korea's formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus, who is traveling with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Rome, said later she did not have further details to share about the meeting.

Last month, North Korea praised Trump for suggesting Washington may pursue an unspecified "new method" in the negotiations. North Korea also has welcomed Trump's decision to fire hawkish former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who advocated a "Libya model" of unilateral denuclearization as a template for North Korea.

The 2004 disarmament of Libya is seen by North Korea as a deeply provocative comparison because Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was killed following U.S.-supported military action in his country seven years after giving up a rudimentary nuclear program that was far less advanced than North Korea's.

The office of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who lobbied hard to set up the first summit between Kim and Trump last year in Singapore, welcomed Choe's announcement and expressed hope the resumed talks would result in "substantial progress" in denuclearization and peace.

That could be a tall order. The diplomacy between Trump and Kim has been driven chiefly by their personalities rather than an established diplomatic process, and working-level meetings have fleshed out the logistics of summits without bringing the countries closer to any nuclear agreement.

The stalemate of recent months has revealed fundamental differences. North Korea says it will never unilaterally surrender its nuclear weapons and missiles and insists that U.S.-led sanctions against it should be lifted first before any progress in negotiations. The Trump administration has vowed to maintain robust economic pressure until North Korea takes real steps toward full, verifiable denuclearization.

Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, said progress in working-level negotiations would depend on several factors, including whether Kim empowers his officials to negotiate concrete steps and whether the Trump administration embraces "a phased approach where summits and sanctions relief must be earned, but denuclearization is not decided all at once."

But there are doubts about whether Kim would ever voluntarily deal away an arsenal that he may see as his strongest guarantee of survival.

After their Singapore summit in June 2018, Trump and Kim issued a vague statement calling for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula without describing how or when it would occur.

The lack of substance and fruitless working-level talks set up the failure in Hanoi. Trump and Kim met for the third time at the inter-Korean border on June 30 and agreed that working-level talks between the countries should resume.

___

Associated Press writer Mari Yamaguchi contributed to this report from Tokyo.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News, AP Business, AP World News - International incidents, AP Business - Economy
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
North Korea fires projectiles days before resuming US talks
South Korea's military and Japan's government say North Korea fired projectiles toward its eastern sea days before resuming nuclear negotiations with the United States
8:50PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Missouri executes killer despite concern about painful death
Missouri man executed for killing a man during a series of violent crimes in 1996, despite concerns the inmate's rare medical condition would cause a gruesome lethal injection
8:44PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Elena Delle Donne leaves Game 2 with back spasms
Washington Mystics star Elena Delle Donne left Game 2 of the WNBA Finals with back spasms and is questionable to return according to the team
8:40PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Sanders raises $25.3M in 3rd quarter, but Trump swamps all
Top Democratic White House hopefuls took in a collective $56 million over the last three months, but in a sign of what they're up against, President Donald Trump and his allies swamped them all by raising $125 million
8:07PM ( 56 minutes ago )
The Latest: Missouri executes inmate with medical condition
Missouri executes killer despite concern about painful death
7:53PM ( 1 hour ago )
Pipeline rules adopted years after deadly explosion, spills
US transportation officials have finalized long-delayed measures meant to prevent pipeline spills and deadly gas explosions but don't address recommended steps to lessen accidents once they occur
7:35PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Salazar's ban overshadows action at track championships
Salazar's ban overshadows action at track championships, while American men win pole vault, 800 and 200
6:35PM ( 2 hours ago )
Federal judge upholds affirmative action at Harvard
A federal judge has ruled that Harvard University does not discriminate against Asian American applicants
6:23PM ( 2 hours ago )
Trump swamps 2020 Democrats in battle for third-quarter cash
Top Democratic White House hopefuls took in a collective $56 million over the last three months, but in a sign of what they're up against, President Donald Trump and his allies swamped them all by raising $125 million
6:01PM ( 3 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Meghan sues British tabloid over personal letter
British royal Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, has sued a tabloid newspaper that she claims illegally published a personal letter she wrote to her father
8:05PM ( 59 minutes ago )
Viard's debut at Chanel ready-to-wear is crashed by comedian
In her first solo ready-to-wear show since Karl Lagerfeld's death, Chanel designer Virginie Viard had a lot to prove but a runway crasher stole the spotlight
6:49PM ( 2 hours ago )
Moment of truth: UK to submit 'final offer' for Brexit deal
After months of Brexit stalemate, Britain is finally about to play its hand, setting out Prime Minister Boris Johnson's "final offer" for a last-minute divorce deal with the European Union
5:21PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP World News
Lizard protections sought in Southwest amid US oil boom
A small lizard found among the dunes straddling New Mexico and West Texas in one of the nation's richest oil basins is at the center of a new legal complaint
6:06PM ( 2 hours ago )
UPS gets government approval to become a drone airline
UPS now has a license to call itself a drone airline, although widespread use of the devices for deliveries is still years away
6:02PM ( 3 hours ago )
Ex-Rep. Chris Collins pleads guilty in insider trading case
Former U.S. Rep. Chris Collins has pleaded guilty in an insider trading case, a day after he resigned from Congress
6:02PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business
Israel quietly lets in Gaza workers in bid to ease tensions
Israel quietly lets in thousands of Palestinian workers from Gaza in bid to ease tensions with Hamas-ruled strip
5:28AM ( 15 hours ago )
China's Xi pays respect to Mao ahead of 70-year celebrations
Chinese Communist Party leader and President Xi Jinping leads other top officials in paying respects to the founder of the Communist state, Mao Zedong
4:26AM ( 1 day ago )
Asian American groups oppose Cambodian refugee deportations
Asian American groups are objecting to the Trump administration's efforts to step up deportations of Cambodians with criminal records
5:36PM ( 3 days ago )
AP World News - International incidents
Stocks sink as US manufacturing shrinks again amid trade war
A surprise contraction in US manufacturing last month knocked the stock market lower, erasing an early rally.
4:19PM ( 4 hours ago )
US manufacturing sinks to decade-low, stoking economic fear
US manufacturing activity sank in September to lowest level since Great Recession
3:11PM ( 5 hours ago )
A slump in US manufacturing knocks stock market lower
A surprise contraction in US manufacturing last month knocked the stock market lower, erasing an early rally.
2:53PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
Missouri executes killer despite concern about painful death
Missouri man executed for killing a man during a series of violent crimes in 1996, despite concerns the inmate's rare medical condition would cause a gruesome lethal injection
8:44PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Elena Delle Donne leaves Game 2 with back spasms
Washington Mystics star Elena Delle Donne left Game 2 of the WNBA Finals with back spasms and is questionable to return according to the team
8:40PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Braves' Keuchel to face Cardinals' Mikolas in Game 1 of NLDS
Braves LHP Dallas Keuchel to face Cardinals RHP Miles Mikolas in NLDS opener
8:39PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Pompeo, Democrats trade intimidation charges in Trump probe
Pompeo declares that House Democrats are trying to "intimidate, bully and treat improperly" five current and former officials in demanding depositions providing Ukraine material
8:17PM ( 46 minutes ago )
Ex-S. Carolina congressman sues state GOP for nixing primary
A Republican former South Carolina congressman is part of a lawsuit challenging the state party's decision to cancel its GOP primary for the 2020 election
8:16PM ( 47 minutes ago )