North Korea's missile tests not 'breach of trust'

Sunday, 12 May, 2019

Experts say the missile was identical to the one the North launched on Saturday, which appeared to be a solid-fuel missile modeled after Russia's Iskander short-range ballistic missile system.

The "Wise Honest" is North Korea's second largest cargo ship.

A North Korean long-range rocket is launched into the air at the Sohae rocket launch site, North Korea, in this photo released by Kyodo, on February 7, 2016. "They were smaller missiles, they were short-range missiles", he said.

The North Korean statements hinted that Saturday's weapons launches werea response to joint military drills conducted by the United States and South Korea in March and April.

The South's Joint Chiefs of Staff had no other immediate details of the Thursday afternoon launch, which was the second such incident in the past five days.

The launch comes as the U.S. special representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, visits South Korea.

Kim's father, Kim Jong II, was also a basketball fan and in 2000 requested the US send Jordan to North Korea - the NBA player declined.

Pyongyang's latest move "is a pressuring action to steer the nuclear talks in a direction it desires", South Korea's President Moon said in an interview marking his first two years in office. A major missile test could result in more sanctions, and the North's so far unsuccessful push for large-scale sanctions relief is at the heart of the current diplomatic impasse with Washington.

"The Trump administration keeps downplaying these missiles because they are not ICBMs, but even though they can't reach the US mainland, it's missiles like these that will start the war", said Melissa Hanham, a weapons expert at Datayo, which tracks global security threats.

Marcus Schiller, a respected authority on North Korean missiles, claims the three new rockets launched by Kim Jong-un bore all the hallmarks of a widely copied missile the Russian military has deployed in Syria and has been actively trying to sell overseas for years.

Trump, who has met with Kim twice now, said: "I don't think they're ready to negotiate".

Harry Kazianis is with the Center for the National Interest in Washington.

In the end, the new missiles add a new level of unpredictability to an already tense situation, Hanham said.

"We are still analysing whether it is a single or multiple projectiles", Kim Joon -Rak, a JCS spokesman told AFP news agency. Over the weekend, Trump wrote on Twitter that he believes a deal could be reached with Kim.

"Expressing satisfaction with the mobility, deployment and assault strike, Kim Jong Un said that some days ago, the defence units on the eastern front perfectly carried out their strike mission and today's drill showed the full preparations of the defence units on the western front and the excellent ability of the units in the forefront area to carry out the task of strike, in particular", the outlet reported.

Kim also noted that "genuine peace and security of the country are guaranteed only by the strong physical force capable of defending its sovereignty" during the exercise also attended by senior ruling Korean Workers' Party Central Committee officials Kim Phyong Hae, O Su Yong and Jo Yong Won.

In New York, federal authorities said the U.S. had taken possession of a North Korean freighter seized a year ago by Indonesia on grounds of violating United Nations sanctions. The coal trade itself is also believed to fund the isolated country's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. "And North Korea's future strategy will be to raise questions about ensuring its security", Cheong Seong-Chang said.

Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page. Caty Weaver was the editor.