mcloudy.png
Thursday August 22nd, 2019 4:32PM

North Korea fires more weapons, denounces US military drills

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea continued to ramp up its weapons demonstrations by firing two presumed short-range ballistic missiles into the sea Tuesday while lashing out at the United States and South Korea for continuing military exercises that the North says could derail fragile nuclear diplomacy.

North Korea's fourth round of weapons launches in less than two weeks came amid a standstill in nuclear negotiations and after President Donald Trump repeatedly dismissed the significance of the country's recent tests despite the threat the weapons pose to allies South Korea and Japan and to U.S. bases there.

Experts say Trump's downplaying of the North's weapons display has allowed the country more room to advance its military capabilities as it attempts to build leverage ahead of negotiations, which could possibly resume sometime after the end of the allies' drills later this month.

South Korea's military alerted reporters to the launches minutes before the North's Foreign Ministry denounced Washington and Seoul over the start of their joint exercises on Monday. The ministry's statement said the drills, which North Korea sees as an invasion rehearsal, leave the country "compelled to develop, test and deploy the powerful physical means essential for national defense."

The statement from an unidentified spokesperson said Pyongyang remains committed to dialogue, but it could seek a "new road" if the allies don't change their positions.

"It is too axiomatic that a constructive dialogue cannot be expected at a time when a simulated war practice targeted at the dialogue partner is being conducted," said the statement. "We remain unchanged in our stand to resolve the issues through dialogue. But the dynamics of dialogue will be more invisible as long as the hostile military moves continue."

Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the two projectiles the North flew cross-country were likely short-range ballistic missiles. They were launched early Tuesday from an area near the North's western coast and traveled about 450 kilometers (279 miles) on an apogee of 37 kilometers (23 miles) at a maximum speed of above Mach 6.9 before landing in waters off the country's eastern coast, the JCS said.

It said the projectiles showed similar flight characteristics to short-range missiles North Korea fired on July 25, which traveled about 600 kilometers (373 miles) during launches the North described a "solemn warning" to South Korea over its plans to continue military drills with the United States.

South Korea's military had said the flight data of the July missiles showed similarities to the Russian-made Iskander, a solid-fuel, nuclear capable missile that is highly maneuverable and travels on lower trajectories compared to conventional ballistic weapons, improving its chances of evading missile defense systems. The North last week also conducted two test firings of what it described as a new multiple rocket launcher system.

Analysts say the new North Korean weapons, which are fired from vehicles and difficult to detect before launch, would significantly enhance its ability to strike targets in all of South Korea.

Choi Hyun-soo, spokeswoman of South Korea's Defense Ministry, said the North's launches go against the spirit of a bilateral military agreement reached last year to reduce conventional threats. The office of South Korean President Moon Jae-in said his chief national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, held an emergency meeting with the country's defense minister and spy chief on Tuesday to discuss the launches.

Japan's defense minister, Takeshi Iwaya, said the North's efforts to advance its missile capabilities are a serious threat to the region.

North Korea had said it will wait to see if the allied exercises take place to decide on the fate of its diplomacy with the United States and whether to continue its unilateral suspension of nuclear and long-range missile tests, which leader Kim Jong Un announced last year amid a diplomatic outreach to Washington.

South Korea's Defense Ministry has not provided details about the drills, which were expected to be computer simulated and not involve actual combat troops and equipment.

Shin Beomchul, a senior analyst from Seoul's Asan Institute for Policy Studies, said North Korea is trying to strengthen its bargaining position with Washington, which has so far rejected Pyongyang's demands for sanctions relief in return for piecemeal steps toward partially surrendering its nuclear capabilities.

By demonstrating weapons that directly threaten South Korea but not the U.S. mainland or its Pacific territories, North Korea is also dialing up pressure on Seoul to coax major concessions from the Washington on behalf of Pyongyang, Shin said.

The allies have scaled down their major military exercises since last year as Trump and Kim began their nuclear summitry. But the North insists even the downsized drills violate agreements between the leaders.

The North's recent tests have dampened the optimism that followed the third and latest summit between Trump and Kim on June 30 at the inter-Korean border. The leaders agreed to resume working-level nuclear talks, but there have been no known meetings between the two sides since then.

__

AP writer Mari Yamaguchi contributed from Tokyo.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News, AP World News - International incidents
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
North Korea fires more weapons, denounces US military drills
North Korea fired presumed short-range ballistic missiles in its latest weapons demonstration and said it is compelled to maintain its defenses because of "hostile military moves" from its partner in nuclear talks
1:31AM ( 2 minutes ago )
Manson prosecutor: Keep them all locked up forever
50 years later and still wary of death threats, prosecutor in Manson 'family' murders keeps looking over shoulder to see 'to see if I'm being followed'
1:24AM ( 10 minutes ago )
Ohio gunman's ex-classmates decry missed chances to stop him
High school classmates of the gunman who killed nine people in Dayton, Ohio, say he was suspended years ago for compiling a "hit list" and a "rape list," and questioned how he could have been allowed to buy the military-style weapon used in the attack.
1:20AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Victims of Texas, Ohio shootings included parents, students
More than 30 people died in mass shootings over the weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. The victims included parents trying to protect their child, a grandfather and a teenager just starting his sophomore year in high school.
12:05AM ( 1 hour ago )
Asian stocks follow Wall Street lower as trade war worsens
Asian stocks follow Wall Street lower on fears escalating US-China trade war will hurt global economy
11:49PM ( 1 hour ago )
North Korea fires presumed ballistic missiles as talks stall
North Korea continued its weapons demonstrations by firing two presumed short-range ballistic missiles while lashing out at the United States and South Korea for military exercises the North says could derail nuclear diplomacy
11:06PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
5 months on, Christchurch attacker influences others
The El Paso massacre is the latest in which the gunman appears to have praised the March shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, where an Australian white supremacist is charged with killing worshippers at mosques
10:37PM ( 2 hours ago )
Shooting shows challenges for FBI in probing domestic terror
El Paso shooting shows challenges for FBI in confronting domestic terror
10:26PM ( 3 hours ago )
El Paso deaths climb to 22 as mayor prepares for Trump visit
The Texas border city jolted by a massacre at a Walmart absorbed more grief as the death toll from the shooting climbed to 22
10:09PM ( 3 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Hiroshima marks 74th anniversary of atomic bombing
Hiroshima has marked the 74rd anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city with its mayor renewing calls for eliminating such weapons
9:58PM ( 3 hours ago )
UN report: North Korea cyber experts raised up to $2 billion
A panel monitoring U.N. sanctions says North Korean cyber experts have illegally raised money for the country's weapons of mass destruction programs "with total proceeds to date estimated at up to $2 billion"
9:36PM ( 3 hours ago )
Still blocked from Hawaii peak, telescope seeks Spain permit
The group behind a $1.4 billion telescope planned for Hawaii is applying for a permit to build in Spain as ongoing protests and a human blockade prevent them from starting construction on Mauna Kea
9:04PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP World News
Moon calls for 'peace economy' with N. Korea, slams Japan
South Korea's president describes the country's escalating trade war with Japan as a wake-up call to revamp its economy and issues a nationalistic call for economic cooperation with North Korea
8:37AM ( 16 hours ago )
North Korea says Kim supervised latest rocket launcher test
North Korea says leader Kim Jong Un supervised another test-firing of a new multiple rocket launcher system that could potentially enhance the country's ability to strike targets in South Korea and U.S. military bases there
3:27AM ( 2 days ago )
North Korea confirms another test of rocket launcher system
North Korea says leader Kim Jong Un supervised another test-firing of a new multiple rocket launcher system that could potentially enhance the country's ability to strike targets in South Korea and U.S. military bases there
8:24PM ( 3 days ago )
AP World News - International incidents
Manson prosecutor: Keep them all locked up forever
50 years later and still wary of death threats, prosecutor in Manson 'family' murders keeps looking over shoulder to see 'to see if I'm being followed'
1:24AM ( 10 minutes ago )
Ohio gunman's ex-classmates decry missed chances to stop him
High school classmates of the gunman who killed nine people in Dayton, Ohio, say he was suspended years ago for compiling a "hit list" and a "rape list," and questioned how he could have been allowed to buy the military-style weapon used in the attack.
1:20AM ( 13 minutes ago )
China vows countermeasures if US deploys missiles in Asia
China says it "will not stand idly by" and will take countermeasures if U.S. deploys intermediate-range missiles in the Indo-Pacific region, which it plans to do within months
1:16AM ( 17 minutes ago )
China's yuan falls further to US dollar amid trade war fears
China's yuan falls further against dollar amid fears of mounting economic damage from trade war with Washington
1:09AM ( 24 minutes ago )
In slap at Maduro, US freezes Venezuela's government assets
Trump administration steps up its tensions with Venezuela's socialist leader, freezing all his government's assets
1:07AM ( 27 minutes ago )