On Friday, North Korea reportedly fired off two rockets and announced its intention to discontinue any further peace negotiations with South Korea. Both missiles were fired into the sea, intentionally missing any South Korean targets.
According to Reuters, the North Korean negotiation team described South Korea’s president as “impudent” and said they would no longer be working towards forming a peach agreement.
North Korea’s frustration came to a head as South Korea continues its mostly computer-simulated military readiness drills, the report continues.
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A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said initial information indicated at least one projectile was fired by North Korea and appeared to be similar to the short-range missiles fired in previous weeks. Another official said the United States was consulting with South Korea and Japan.
An official at Seoul’s defense ministry said the latest test involved ballistic technology and detailed analysis was under way with the United States with the possibility that the North fired the same type of missiles it used on Aug. 10.
The missiles were launched shortly after 8 a.m. Friday (2300 GMT Thursday) and flew around 230 kms (142 miles) to an altitude of 30 kms (18 miles), South Korea’s JCS said.
The launches have complicated attempts to restart talks between U.S. and North Korean negotiators over the future of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
North Korea previously expressed that they opposed the military drills, something President Trump called “expensive” and agreed to cancel. South Korea and the U.S. held off from conducting the drills as the three parties held a historic peace summit but were renewed after a second summit failed to garner a peace agreement.
The missile launch and North Korean declaration that they were done pursuing a deal came after South Korean President Moon Jae-in declared the two Koreas would be united by 2045.
Reuters reports a North Korean spokesman for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country told KCNA news, “We have nothing to talk any more with the South Korean authorities nor have any idea to sit with them again.”
And, per the report:
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.
Moon and Kim have met three times since April last year, pledging peace and cooperation, but little progress has been made to improve dialogue and strengthen exchanges and cooperation.
President Trump has not yet commented on North Korea’s decision to nix the peace talks.Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.