North Korea abruptly launched two short-range projectiles on Tuesday morning, just seven hours and 21 minutes after it suggested resuming working-level negotiations with the United States in late September. It demonstrated military power right after North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said on a threatening note on Monday that Washington should present acceptable (new) calculations. It is likely that both sides will engage in a power struggle regarding the resumption of their working-level talks.
The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff announced that North Korea fired two short-range projectiles around Kaechon in South Pyongan Province at 6:53 a.m. and 7:12 a.m. on Tuesday. North Korea has executed its 10th launch in 17 days since the beginning of the year. Reportedly, the projectiles flew 330 kilometers over land across the Korean Peninsula, arriving at Nan Island of North Korea.
Only a projectile range was released by the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff, which had released detailed features such as projectile altitudes and maximum speeds the last time North Korea fired projectiles. Some speculated that the South Korean military did not receive any related data from Japan as Seoul and Tokyo decided to end the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA). However, the South Korean military authorities denied the speculation, explaining that they were concerned about the leakage of intelligence regarding North Korea. South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae expressed strong concern about the North’s projectile provocations after Chung Eui-yong, head of the National Security Council Standing Committee, presided over an emergency meeting at 8:10 a.m. on Tuesday.
Prior to Tuesday’s projectile launches, Pyongyang expressed its willingness to resume working-level negotiations, to which Washington showed a positive response. U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday (local time), “I saw a statement was just put out having to do with North Korea, and that’ll be interesting. We'll see what happens, but I always say having meetings is a good thing, not a bad thing.” Around the same time, a high-ranking official in the Trump administration responded carefully that Washington is not involved in any meeting with Pyongyang that is worth announcing at the moment.
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