Published: Thu, October 03, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

North Korea carries out 9th projectile launch since June

North Korea carries out 9th projectile launch since June

The new system has now been "finally verified in terms of combat operation, the characteristics of trajectory, accuracy and precise homing functions", leader Kim Jong Un was reported to have said, while suggesting that more testing of the new weapon may still be required. Its exact maximum range is not yet known.

Media reports quote Japanese and South Korean authorities as saying that the North launched a missile on Tuesday.

South Korea previously publicized photos of its F-35s, but it was the first time the aircraft were shown at an official event since the first two of the planes were delivered here in March, according to the state-run Defense Acquisition Program Administration.

Since July 2019, North Korea has been regularly launching short-range ballistic missiles.

Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo condemned the launch.

Japan immediately lodged a protest with North Korea.

Talks have been stalled since February, when President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un walked away from their second summit without a deal.

Bolton had said North Korea should hand over its nuclear weapons and fissile material to the United States the way Libya did in early 2004 in exchange for normalized relations and relief from sanctions. On Monday, North Korea blamed the stalling of the dialogue on Washington and Seoul, accusing them of failing to keep their promises.

"We call on (North Korea) to refrain from provocations, abide by their obligations under U.N. Security Council Resolutions, and remain engaged in substantive and sustained negotiations to do their part to ensure peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and achieve denuclearization", a state department spokeswoman said in Rome.

At an event marking the founding of the South Korean military, Moon said South Korean fighter jets conducted patrol flights offshore, including over islands at the center of a bitter territorial dispute with Japan.

In a September 17 speech, the president said Mr. Bolton's rhetoric while in office had "set us back very badly", and that "maybe a new method would be very good" in future negotiations with North Korea.

North Korea could also be demonstrating its displeasure over South Korea displaying some of its newly purchased USA -made F-35 stealth fighter jets for the first time during its Armed Forces Day ceremony on October 1.

One of the projectiles fell into waters within Japan's exclusive economic zone, Tokyo said, and although the type of weapon was not clear, previous tests have been identified as short-range ballistic missiles.

According to the North's official Korean Central News Agency, North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui said in a statement on Tuesday, "The delegates of [North Korea] are ready to enter into the [North Korea]-U.S. working-level negotiations". The two sides will have "preliminary contact" the day before, she said.

South Korea's commander-in-chief has promised to make the nation's defense forces stronger than before. 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. But it has always been unclear how the talks can advance without more substantive discussions - including technical experts - about what each side is prepared to offer and how to get there.

North Korea has repeatedly said it is not willing to unilaterally give up its nuclear weapons. The first Trump-Kim summit took place in Singapore in June past year.

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