North Korea fires unidentified projectiles: South Korea

North Korea has carried out its third missile test in eight days, according to the South’s military, but US President Donald Trump said he had “no problem” with the spate of launches by Pyongyang.

The nuclear-armed North described an earlier missile launch as a warning to the South over planned joint military drills with the US KCNA

The two unidentified short-range projectiles were fired off separately from North Korea’s eastern coast early on Friday and came down in the sea, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) told Yonhap.

An official from the JCS, who did not want to be named, citing office rules, told AP news agency that more analysis would be required to determine whether the projectiles were ballistic missiles or rocket artillery.

The nuclear-armed North Korea is barred from ballistic missile tests under UN resolutions and its actions have drawn condemnation from European members of the Security Council.

But a comparatively sanguine response from Trump, who has met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un three times, generated global headlines on each occasion.

“I have no problem, we’ll see what happens but short range (missiles) are very standard,” Trump told reporters as he left the White House for a campaign rally on Thursday.

The nuclear-armed North described an earlier missile launch as a warning to the South over planned joint military drills with the United States.

Al Jazeera’s Rob McBride, reporting from Seoul, said that until talks between the US and North Korea resume in the next few weeks, more launches could be expected in the coming days.

“They North Korea know that they can get away with it,” our correspondent said.

One of the US officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the launch did not pose a threat to North America.

North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles early on Wednesday, only days after it launched two similar missiles on July 25.

Earlier on Thursday and before the latest launch, a senior US official said North Korea’s latest missile launches did not violate a pledge that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made to Trump not to test long-range missiles and nuclear weapons.

The two leaders agreed at a June 30 meeting to revive stalled denuclearisation talks, but efforts to resume the negotiations remain in doubt.

Diplomats have crisscrossed the region this week in the hope of restarting the talks.

The North Korea launches have appeared intended to put pressure on South Korea and the US to stop planned military exercises and offer other concessions, analysts said.

A summit between Trump and Kim in Vietnam in February collapsed after the two sides failed to reconcile differences between US demands for North Korea’s complete denuclearisation and North Korean demands for sanctions relief.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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