U.S., South Korean Officials Confirm North Korea Test-Fired at Least 2 Short-Range Ballistic Missiles Thursday; U.N. Secretary General Urges U.S., N. Korea to Resume Talks

  • U.S. and South Korean officials confirmed that on Thursday North Korea test-fired at least two short-range ballistic missiles near North Korea’s eastern coast.
  • An unnamed South Korean official said the missiles “landed in the sea after traveling 430 and 267 miles respectively.”
  • South Korea’s presidential office released a statement that read “a meticulous assessment by South Korea and the U.S. found both devices were a new type of short-range ballistic missiles.”
  • Two U.S. officials said so far, there’s no indication that the missiles are a threat to the U.S. or its allies, but one of the officials called the launch “an expected show of force.”
  • Choi Hyun-soo, South Korea’s defense ministry spokesperson, described the test-firings as “a military threat that undermines efforts to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula.”
  • Hyun-soo warned South Korea would “strengthen surveillance preparedness under the cooperation with the U.S. and maintain close communications.”
  • After the launches, “U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is calling for the swift resumption of working-level talks between the United States and North Korea.”
  • Additionally, U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq announced that “Guterres is concerned by Thursday’s launches and wants a quick return to the talks that U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed to in June at their meeting in the Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas.”
  • Haq said Guterres “has made clear that he views those meetings as a hopeful development — and he’s hoped that that will lead to progress towards the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”
  • During a briefing, Kim Joon-rak, the public affairs chief of South Korea’s defense ministry, said Kim Jong-un made it known he was in the area during the time the missiles were launched.
  • Joon-rak added that Kim “openly shared his activities and we are paying special attention to related situations.”
  • Earlier this week, North Korean state TV reported that Kim had inspected a newly-built submarine, which “potentially signaled continued development of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) program.”

Reference Links

  • AP: The Latest: UN chief calls for swift US-North Korea talks READ
  • Fox: North Korea launched new type of short-range ballistic missile, official says READ
  • NBC: North Korea fired at least 2 short-range missiles, U.S. officials say READ
  • Politico: N. Korea fires missiles into sea in apparent pressure tactic READ

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