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North Korea fires 'unidentified projectile' — South's military

Claire Lee - Agence France-Presse
North Korea fires 'unidentified projectile' â South's military
This picture taken on September 15, 2021 and released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on September 16 shows a test firing drill of a railway-borne missile regiment.
STR / KCNA VIA KNS / AFP

SEOUL, South Korea — Nuclear-armed North Korea fired an 'unidentified projectile' into the sea off its east coast, the South's military said Tuesday.

No further details were immediately available from the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff.

A Japanese defence ministry spokesman told AFP on condition of anonymity that the projectile "appears to be a ballistic missile".

The launch is the latest in a series of mixed messages from the North, coming days after leader Kim Jong Un's influential sister Kim Yo Jong, a key adviser to her brother, dangled the prospect of an inter-Korean summit.

But she insisted that "impartiality" and mutual respect would be required, calling for the South to "stop spouting an impudent remark".

She condemned as "double standards" Southern and US criticism of the North's military developments, while the allies build up their own capacities.

In recent days, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has only months left in office, reiterated at the UN General Assembly his longstanding calls for a formal declaration of an end to the Korean War.

The North invaded the South in 1950 and hostilities ceased three years later with an armistice rather than a peace treaty, leaving them technically still in a state of conflict.

Pyongyang is under multiple sets of international sanctions over its banned nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programmes.

Its ambassador to the United Nations insisted that it had the right to test weapons.

"Nobody can deny the right to self-defense for the DPRK", Kim Song told the UN General Assembly in New York.

"We are just building up our national defence in order to defend ourselves and reliably safeguard the security and peace of the country."

'Heinous human rights abuser'

Pyongyang has already carried out several missile launches this month, one involving a long-range cruise missile and another which the South's military called short-range ballistic missiles.

Seoul also successfully test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile for the first time, making it one of a handful of nations with the advanced technology.

Talks between Pyongyang and Washington have been at a standstill since a 2019 summit in Hanoi between leader Kim and then-president Donald Trump collapsed over sanctions relief and what the North would be willing to give up in return.

The North has subsequently repeatedly excoriated the South and its president Moon, and blown up a liaison office on its side of the border that Seoul had built.

"It looks like North Korea wants to see how genuine Seoul is when it comes to its willingness to improve inter-Korean ties -- and to officially end the Korean War," Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies, told AFP.

"Pyongyang will monitor and study Moon's reaction after today's launch and decide on what they want to do on things such as restoring the inter-Korean hotline," he added.

The administration of US President Joe Biden has repeatedly said that it is willing to meet North Korean officials anywhere, at any time, without preconditions, in its efforts to seek denuclearisation.

But the North has not shown any willingness to give up its arsenal, which it says it needs to defend itself against a US invasion.

On Monday, the North's official Korean Central News Agency carried an article calling the United States "the most heinous human rights abuser in the world" for its sanctions policies on various countries.

The North was also due to open a session of its rubber-stamp parliament, the Supreme People's Assembly, on Tuesday.

NORTH KOREA NORTH KOREA NUCLEAR WEAPONS SOUTH KOREA
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: October 19, 2021 - 2:08pm

South Korean officials were briefing the White House Thursday on the outcome of their pathfinding meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Seoul has already publicized that North Korea offered talks with the United States on denuclearization and normalizing ties, a potential diplomatic opening after a year of escalating tensions over the North's nuclear and missile tests. The rival Koreas also agreed to hold a leadership summit in late April.

Top Trump administration officials were getting a chance to hear firsthand from South Korean national security director, Chung Eui-yong, who led the delegation that went to Pyongyang. — Associated Press

October 19, 2021 - 2:08pm

A North Korean weapons test on Tuesday was believed to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile, the South's military says.

"Our military detected one unidentified short-range ballistic missile presumed to be an SLBM fired by North Korea," Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff says in a statement. — AFP

October 4, 2021 - 2:45pm

North and South Korea restored their cross-border hotline on Monday, a step that Seoul said could help improve relations after Pyongyang sparked global concern with a string of missile tests in recent weeks.

The two sides resumed communications with officials exchanging their first phone call since August, days after the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting over the North Korean missile tests.

The two Koreas had signalled a surprise thaw in relations in late July by announcing the resumption of cross-border communications — severed more than a year earlier — but the detente was short-lived, as Pyongyang stopped answering calls just two weeks later. — AFP

October 3, 2021 - 3:43pm

North Korea on Sunday slammed the UN Security Council for holding an emergency meeting over the country's latest missile tests, accusing the member states of toying with a "time-bomb".

Pyongyang said Friday it had successfully fired an anti-aircraft missile, the latest in a series of tension-raising steps by the nuclear-armed state, which had until recently been biding its time since the change in US administrations in January.

In September, it launched what it said was a long-range cruise missile, and earlier this week tested what it described as a hypersonic gliding vehicle, which South Korea's military said appeared to be in the early stages of development.

The tests prompted UN Security Council member states to convene an emergency meeting on North Korea on Friday, called by the United States, Britain and France.

The meeting was originally due to take place on Thursday but was delayed. It lasted just over an hour and ended without a statement. — AFP

September 30, 2021 - 8:14am

The UN Security Council will meet Thursday to discuss the situation in North Korea, diplomats said, after Pyongyang said it tested a new hypersonic gliding missile -- the latest apparent advance in the nuclear-armed nation's weapons technology.

The meeting — organized at the request of the United States, Britain and France — is expected to take place Thursday morning behind closed doors, a diplomat told AFP, without saying if the talks were expected to result in the adoption of a joint statement. — AFP

September 29, 2021 - 8:12am

North Korea has successfully tested a hypersonic gliding missile, state media reported Wednesday, in what would be the nuclear-armed nation's latest advance in weapons technology.

The launch from Jagang province "confirmed the navigational control and stability of the missile", along with its "guiding manoeuverability and the gliding flight characteristics of the detached hypersonic gliding warhead" and the engine, according to KCNA.

"The test results proved that all the technical specifications met the design requirements", it added. — AFP

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