North Korea exams ballistic missiles amid deadlocked nuclear talks

A North Korean flag flies on a pole at the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva October 2, 2014. REUTERS / Denis Balibouse / File Photo

SEOUL, Sept. 15 (Reuters) – North Korea has fired two ballistic missiles off its east coast, South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff said Wednesday, days after testing a long-range cruise missile.

Pyongyang has continued to develop its weapons program amid a stalemate over talks to dismantle its nuclear and ballistic missile programs in exchange for easing US sanctions. Negotiations have stalled since 2019.

Japan’s Coast Guard also said an object that could be a ballistic missile was fired from North Korea, which landed outside its exclusive economic zone.

The Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga condemned the apparent test start and called it “outrageous”.

Both Suga and South Korean President Moon Jae-in have convened meetings of their national security councils to discuss the launches, according to their offices.

Foreign ministers of South Korea and China held talks in Seoul on Wednesday over concerns over North Korea’s recent missile test and stalled denuclearization negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington. Continue reading

Should the test be confirmed as a ballistic missile, the test would be North Korea’s first since March of this year and another violation of UN sanctions.

The launch came after North Korea successfully tested a new long-range cruise missile last weekend, calling it a “strategic weapon of great importance”. Analysts say the missile could be the country’s first such weapon with nuclear capability. Continue reading

Coverage by Hyonhee Shin; additional coverage from Ritsuko Ando in Tokyo; Adaptation by Lincoln Feast

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