Published: Sun, August 18, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

North Korea Test Fires Two More Missiles after Rejecting Talks with South

North Korea Test Fires Two More Missiles after Rejecting Talks with South

The South's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) earlier in the day reported the North had launched "two unidentified short-range projectiles" from near the east coast of the country.

South Korea's military officials said they were analyzing data they acquired through radar and other intelligence-gathering equipment to determine what type of projectiles had been launched.

The North has fired several projectiles into the sea in recent weeks however Japan's defence ministry said it did not see any imminent security threat from the latest launch.

"His speech deserves the comments 'foolish commemorative speech, '" the North said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

On Thursday, Moon urged the North to return to dialogue as he vowed to "solidify denuclearization and peace" on the Korean Peninsula before his term ends in 2022.

In an extended attack on President Moon, the statement continued: "We even question if his thought process is sound when he mentions "talks" between North and South while playing out war scenarios that plan to destroy most of our armies in 90 days".

Seoul's Unification Ministry said the North's comments are not "consistent" with the spirit of inter-Korean agreements, including the Panmunjom Declaration signed by Moon and Kim in April previous year.

"Such comments do not correspond to the spirit of the Panmunjom Declaration and the Pyongyang Joint Declaration agreed between the South and North Korean leaders", MOU deputy spokesperson Kim Eun-han said during a regular briefing on Friday morning.

"A sure thing is that the (South) Korean chief executive is (such a) amusing man as he just reads what was written by his juniors", the statement said, while avoiding calling Moon by his name.

"Seoul and Washington have held back on further sanctions but Pyongyang tests sanctions-violating missiles", Easley added.

"It added President Moon is an 'impudent" man, and said Seoul better not think of resuming talks along with the North Korea-U.S. talks once the drills are over.as that won't happen.

North Korea has said it will never negotiate with Seoul again.

"His open talk about "dialogue" between the North and the South under such a situation raises a question as to whether he has proper thinking faculty", the spokesman said.

Pyongyang has also been demanding that Seoul turn away from Washington and restart inter-Korean economic projects held back by US -led sanctions against the North.

Moon and Kim have met three times since April past year, pledging cooperation in working toward a peace deal, but little progress has been made to improve dialogue and strengthen exchanges and cooperation.

However, little progress has been made on the North's denuclearisation programme.

Experts say President Donald Trump's downplaying of the North's launches allowed the country more room to intensify its testing activity while it seeks to build leverage ahead of a possible resumption of negotiations, which could happen sometime after the end of the allied drills later this month.

By refusing to sit down with the South, the North is signalling that it prefers to deal directly with the United States.

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