North Korea fires missile into sea as nuclear talks remain stalled

North Korea fired a short-range missile eastward into the sea yesterday , South Korean military officials reported.

he missile was fired from an inland area toward the east at about 6.40am local time, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

The military said it was still analysing details of the weapons launch, the fourth test by North Korea this month, even as leaders in Pyongyang showed signs that they may be willing to resume negotiations with Seoul.

South Korean president Moon Jae-in ordered a comprehensive analysis of North Korea’s latest statements and missile launches in response to yesterday’s launch, the presidential Blue House said in a statement.

In recent days, North Korean officials had complained of “double standards” and “hostile policy” from the south, amid Seoul’s development of a submarine-launched ballistic missile and the latest round of joint US-South Korea military drills.

Even as she blamed South Korea, Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, spoke positively about the prospects of re-engaging in inter-Korean talks.

“I felt that the atmosphere of the South Korean public desiring to recover the inter-Korean relations from a deadlock and achieve peaceful stability as soon as possible is irresistibly strong,” she said last week.

In an emergency meeting, the standing committee of South Korea’s National Security Council said it regretted North Korea’s latest missile launch, which officials said came “at a time when political stability on the Korean Peninsula was very critical”.

Earlier this month, North Korea said it successfully test-fired a new long-range cruise missile on September 11 and 12.

On September 15, Pyongyang launched two short-range ballistic missiles that landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone, likely in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.

The flurry of weapons activity also comes amid stalled nuclear talks with Washington. North Korea has rebuffed attempts by the Biden administration to communicate, instead demanding full sanctions relief.

Yesterday’s launch took place as North Korea’s UN ambassador, Kim Song, addressed the UN General Assembly in New York and called for an end to the “US hostile policy” toward his country.

In his statement, Mr Kim called on the administration to “remove the double standards” toward North Korea.

(© Washington Post)

© Washington Post

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