North Korea launched two short-range missiles this week. This is the second missile test in a week after more than a year without any testing.
Here’s what we know
The missiles were launched at around 4:30 p.m. local time Thursday from the city of Kusong in northwestern North Korea, the BBC reported. They traveled about 260 miles at a height of roughly 31 miles before plunging into the Sea of Japan. The test came just days after the country launched several short-range missiles, the first such test since late 2017.
“The U.S. and South Korean intelligence authority is conducting analysis for additional information,” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement after the missile launch. “Our military has currently heightened its surveillance and alertness against possible additional launches, whilst maintaining combat readiness in close coordination with the U.S.”
Missile testing in North Korea had paused during 2018 and the first few months of 2019, as President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un met to discuss a deal to move the hermit kingdom forward. However, in February their second summit broke down, reportedly after North Korea demanded that all U.S. sanctions were lifted before they can move forward.
After being asked in early March about reports that North Korea was rebuilding its nuclear capabilities, Trump said he would be “very, very disappointed if that were happening” but that he thought it was “too early to see” exactly what the North Koreans were doing.
The top U.S. diplomat in charge of negotiating with North Korea, Stephen Biegun, traveled Wednesday to Seoul, South Korea.
After Thursday’s missile launch, South Korean President Moon Jae-In said “North Korea seems to be discontented it could not reach a deal” with Trump at February’s summit in Hanoi, Vietnam.