Date
18 September 2019
North Korea test-fires a new weapon in this undated photo released on August 11 by the North’s state news agency. Credit: KCNA via Reuters
North Korea test-fires a new weapon in this undated photo released on August 11 by the North’s state news agency. Credit: KCNA via Reuters

N Korea fires more projectiles, says talks with Seoul are over

North Korea launched at least two projectiles into the sea on Friday, shortly after Pyongyang described South Korea’s president as “impudent” and vowed that inter-Korean talks are over.

The North fired two unidentified projectiles into the sea off its east coast in the morning, Reuters reports, citing South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

The projectiles were launched shortly after 8 am local time and flew around 230 kilometers to an altitude of 30 kilometers, the JCS was quoted as saying in a statement.

Earlier on Friday, Pyongyang rejected a vow by South Korean President Moon Jae-in a day earlier to pursue talks with the North and to unify the two Koreas by 2045.

The loss of dialogue momentum between the North and South and the stalemate in implementing pledges made at a summit between their two leaders last year was entirely the responsibility of the South, a North Korean spokesman said.

The unidentified spokesman repeated criticism that the joint US-South Korea drills were a sign of Seoul’s hostility toward the North.

“We have nothing to talk any more with the South Korean authorities nor have any idea to sit with them again,” the North’s spokesman said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

South Korea’s unification ministry called North Korea’s comments about Moon “not in line” with inter-Korean agreements and unhelpful for developing relations between them.

After an emergency meeting of South Korea’s National Security Council held to discuss the launches, officials reiterated that the joint drills are simply an opportunity to evaluate whether South Korea could eventually assume wartime control of the allied forces on the peninsula.

The South’s Moon said in a Liberation Day address on Thursday it was only through his policy of Korean national peace that dialogue with the North was still possible.

“In spite of a series of worrying actions taken by North Korea recently, the momentum for dialogue remains unshaken,” Moon said in a speech marking Korea’s independence from Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule.

The North’s spokesman described Moon as an “impudent guy” who is “overcome with fright”.

He said Moon has no standing to talk about engagement with the North because of the ongoing military maneuvers.

“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.

It is “senseless” to think that inter-Korean dialogue will resume once the military drills with the United States were over, he said.

However, the spokesman left open the possibility of talks with the US, according to the report.

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