North Korea Test-Fires Missiles Just After U.S.-South Korea Military Exercises End
North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea on Saturday, according to the Associated Press.
For the fourth time in less than two weeks North Korea has tested two additional missiles. They were launched from the southwestern province across the peninsula into the sea towards Japan, according to ABC News. These missile tests potentially could be in response to U.S.-South Korea military exercise, which the North Koreans have complained about before. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: North Korean Woman Describes Daring Escape From The Kim Regime)
South Korea reacted on Saturday saying they see this as a “grave concern.”
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South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of States released a statement saying, ”Our military is monitoring the situation in case of additional launches and maintaining a readiness posture.”
Following the tests, President Trump said he has a good relationship with the North Korean leader, “Kim Jong Un has been, you know, pretty straight with me. … He likes testing missiles but we never restricted short-range missiles. We’ll see what happens,” Trump told reporters on Friday. (RELATED: Trump Says Kim Jong Un Sent Him A ‘Small Apology’ For Testing Short-Range Missiles)
Kim Jong Un promised to stop testing missiles and to return to nuclear talks with President Trump but this conversation has yet to resume. Instead, it seems like this missile launch is their response to a hardening U.S. position.
North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho called Secretary of StateMike Pompeo a “poisonous plant of American diplomacy” for holding sanctions over their head on Friday, just days before talks were set to resume. In protest of these sanctions, the top North Korean diplomat said the country will continue to be “America’s biggest threat” if U.S. sanctions persist.
President Trump and King Jong Un met in February after nuclear talk ended with no agreement. Kim’s main concern is to have U.S. sanctions lifted, but Trump has insisted on not easing them until Kim agrees to give up all nuclear weapons.