In its latest test, North Korea fires a short-range missile into the sea
Published Monday, September 27, 2021 | 8:02 pm
Updated 9 minutes ago
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korea launched a short-range missile into the sea early Tuesday, its neighbors said at North Korea’s recent weapons tests, which have questioned the sincerity of its recent offer of talks with Korea.
In an emergency meeting of the National Security Council, the South Korean government expressed its regret over the so-called âshort-range missile launchâ by the north. The South Korean military previously said the object, which was fired from North Korea’s mountainous northern Jagang Province, was flying towards the waters off the east coast of the north.
US Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement that the launch poses no immediate threat to US personnel or US territory, or to our allies. However, it was said that the missile launch “highlights the destabilizing effects of (North Korea’s) illegal weapons program” and that the US commitment to the defense of South Korea and Japan “remains armored.”
Details of the launch were analyzed by the South Korean and US authorities. However, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said North Korea had fired “what could be a ballistic missile” and that its government had increased its vigilance and surveillance.
A ballistic missile launch would violate a UN Security Council ban on North Korea’s ballistic activities, but the Council does not normally impose new sanctions on North Korea for short-range weapon launch.
Ballistic and cruise missile tests earlier this month marked North Korea’s first such launches in six months, and demonstrated its ability to attack targets in South Korea and Japan, both key U.S. allies with a total of 80,000 American troops.
But last Friday and Saturday, Kim Yo Jong, the influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, reached out to Seoul and said her country was open to resumption of talks and conciliatory steps if the conditions were met. Some experts said North Korea would like South Korea to work to exempt it from US-led sanctions.
South Korea has called their statement “meaningful” but urged North Korea to reestablish communication channels before talks between rivals can be arranged.
Communication lines have been largely inactive for about 15 months, so their restoration could be a measure of how seriously the North is taking its conditional call offer. The Seoul Reunification Ministry said Tuesday that North Korea has not responded to attempts by South Korea to exchange messages through the channels.
When the North’s missile launch was spotted by its rivals on Tuesday, the third round of such tests this month, North Korean Ambassador Kim Song used his speech on the final day of the UN General Assembly to help his country develop into a âwar deterrentâ justify. to defend against US threats.
“The possible outbreak of a new war in the Korean peninsula is being contained not because of the US mercy on the DPRK, but because our state is developing a reliable deterrent that can control enemy forces in the event of an attempted military invasion,” said Kim. DPRK refers to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the official name of North Korea.
The most recent deployment of the North came in response to renewed calls by South Korean President Moon Jae-in for a declaration to end the Korean War in 1950-53 in order to promote peace on the Korean peninsula. Seoul officials refer to such a declaration as a “political” and “symbolic” move, as a peace treaty must be signed to formally end the Korean War, which ended in a ceasefire and left the peninsula in a state of technical warfare.
The three-year conflict led South Korea and US-led UN forces against North Korea and China, killing 1 to 2 million people. In his speech to the UN last week, Moon suggested that the war end declaration between the two Koreas, the US and China, be signed.
After the North launched on Tuesday, Moon ordered officials to fully investigate his latest weapon kills and past range before formulating countermeasures, according to Moon’s office.
A US-led diplomatic effort to convince North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons in exchange for economic and political gain has stalled for two and a half years. US officials have repeatedly expressed hopes for further talks, but have also made it clear that the long-term sanctions imposed on North Korea will remain in place until the North takes concrete steps towards denuclearization.
While North Korea has tested short-range weapons and promised to continue building its nuclear arsenal, Kim Jong Un has maintained a moratorium on testing long-range weapons that can reach the American homeland, keeping the US alive.
Associate press writers Kim Tong-hyung in Seoul and Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this report.