North Korea Launches More Missiles As U.S.-South Korea Drills Start - <WEB2019></WEB2019>

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Tuesday, 6 August 2019

North Korea Launches More Missiles As U.S.-South Korea Drills Start


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North Korea launched two missiles Tuesday, according to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff. It's Pyongyang's fourth such launch in less than two weeks.

South Korea's military said it's "monitoring the situation" after North Korea fired what are believed to be short-range ballistic missiles from a southwestern province. Both landed in the Sea of Japan.

U.S. national security adviser John Bolton previously said that North Korea's launches of short-range ballistic missiles don't violate leader Kim Jong-un's pledge to not carry out long-range missile tests.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who's traveling overseas this week in the region, told reporters Tuesday, "The key is to keep the door open for diplomacy. ... We're not going to overreact to these [launches], but we monitor them, we watch them closely and we're cognizant of what's happening."

The timing of North Korea's latest missile launch lines up with the start of joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea. North Korea's Foreign Ministry slammed those drills on Tuesday as "an undisguised denial and a flagrant violation" of promises President Donald Trump made to Kim during their 2018 denuclearization talks.

Earlier this year, the U.S. and South Korea announced they'd no longer hold their two annual large-scale joint military drills. Instead, they'd carry out a couple of smaller operations. But no matter the size, North Korea's not a fan of the exercises, citing them as a reason it needs to have a nuclear arsenal.



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