Published: Fri, August 09, 2019
Money | By Ethel Goodwin

Germany condemns North Korean weapons test

Germany condemns North Korean weapons test

Mr Kim said the military action was "an occasion to send an adequate warning to the joint military drill now underway by the US and South Korean authorities", according to KCNA.

The North fired two short-range ballistic missiles that flew more than 270 miles and reached an altitude of about 23 miles before splashing into the sea off its eastern coast, according to South Korea's military.

The arrival of new, US-made F-35A stealth fighters in South Korea, the visit of a USA nuclear-powered submarine to a South Korean port, and United States tests of ballistic missiles are among the steps that have forced North Korea to continue its own weapons development, the spokesperson said. It called the launch a "solemn warning" to South Korea against joining the military exercises with the United States.

The presidential national security chief also said there is "always a possibility" North Korea provocations could continue to take place.

The exercise, which is expected to continue for about three weeks, is meant to test South Korea's initial operational capability (IOC) for the envisioned transfer of the wartime operational control from Washington to Seoul, they added.

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters Tuesday while en route to Tokyo that the allies were "still abiding" by the adjustments made after Trump and Kim's historic first meeting in Singapore past year. North Korea has argued the drills are a rehearsal for a military invasion of its territory.

KCNA said the launches on early Tuesday verified the reliability and combat ability of the newly-developed missiles.

Trump and Kim agreed to resume nuclear talks during an impromptu June meeting in the Demilitarised Zone that divides the peninsula, but that working-level dialogue has yet to begin. He wants to continue talks with North Korea.

Experts, however, have said that the increased clip of missile testing is merely the latest example of Kim taking a page from the well-worn North Korean negotiating playbook. Analysts said they appeared to have been unusually fast.

Trump has repeatedly dismissed the significance of the tests because they only involve short-range weapons, while he secured a commitment from Kim not to test their long-range counterparts.

A spokesman in Washington said the US Department of Defense would monitor updates and lease with South Korea and Japan.

Kim's comments came after the US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he was not anxious about missiles being tested by North Korea, calling them very standard, short-range devices.

Following the August 2 launch, President Trump said the missiles were "not a violation of our signed Singapore agreement" but allowed, "there may be a United Nations violation".

"South Korea and the United States have downscaled, refocused, rescheduled and quietly conducted their combined exercises to allow space for diplomacy with North Korea", said Leif-Eric Easley, who teaches worldwide security at Ewha University in Seoul.

A foreign ministry statement said: "The US and South Korean authorities remain outwardly talkative about dialogue".

North Korea on July 25 launched its version of a Russian-made Iskander short-range ballistic missile, which appears to be created to evade US and South Korean missile defenses.

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