While North Korea made the first missile provocation of the new year on Wednesday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said he would continue efforts to have a dialogue with the North. Even though it was his intention to clearly express the determination to pursue the announcement of the end of the Korean War and the peace process on the Korean Peninsula until the end of this term, some criticize that Moon exonerated North Korea’s provocation, which is in violation of the U.N. Security Council’s resolution, as the commander-in-chief.
According to the South Korean military, a projectile believed to be a short-term ballistic missile was launched across the East Sea from Chagang Province at 8:10 a.m. on Wednesday. It has been 78 days since the North launched a new small submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) last year. The military did not reveal information about the projectile, such as its range, citing that the South Korean and U.S. intelligence authorities are analyzing information. A military source said that it was detected that the missile disappeared from a tracking radar during its flight, which means there could have been issues during flight.
“North Korea’s test launch of an unknown short-range projectile this morning can create tension and prolong the stagnation of the inter-Korean relationship,” said President Moon three hours after the launch at a groundbreaking ceremony for the East Sea railways from Gangneung to Jejin held in Goseong, Gangwon Province. “We should not let go of the communication line in order to fundamentally overcome the situation,” he added. “North Korea should show more serious efforts to engage in conversation. When both Koreas work together and build trust, peace will be by our side someday.”
The government held an emergency National Security Council meeting for 50 minutes from 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday presided by Director of Office of National Security Suh Hoon but did not categorize the missile launch as ‘provocation’ and emphasized the importance of resuming the conversation.
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