Two days ago, North Korea’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador Kim In Ryong said that in order to end the “problems” on the Korean peninsula, the US needed to first cease with its “hostile policy” toward Pyongyang.
That, Kim said, was a prerequisite for talks.
“As everybody knows, the Americans have gestured (toward) dialogue,” Kim told reporters on Friday. “But what is important is not words, but actions.”
Yes, “what is important is not words, but actions.”
And to prove it, Pyongyang launched another missile a couple of hours ago. The initially “unidentified projectile” was launched from the Pukchang area northeast of Pyongyang, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a text message.
This would be the 8th ballistic missile test so far this year.
No one should be surprised by this. Pyongyang is hell-bent on staying in the spotlight and Trump’s jaunt across the Mideast threatens to shift the focus away from the North/South tensions. So you know, some sabers needed to be rattled. They’re probably also intent on testing the mettle of new South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Apparently, not one told Pyongyang that Rex Tillerson has been practicing his own saber rattling this weekend:
U.S. Pacific Command statement:
We are working with our Interagency partners on a more detailed assessment. We continue to monitor North Korea’s actions closely. U.S. Pacific Command stands behind our ironclad commitment to the security of our allies in the Republic of Korea and Japan. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) assessed that the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America.
South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement:
The repeated provocation of North Korea is a reckless and irresponsible act that puts cold water on the expectations and aspirations of the Korean government and the international community for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and peace settlement, and the government strongly condemns this provocation.
Here’s a bit more from AP
North Korea on Sunday fired a medium-range missile, U.S. and South Korean officials said, in the latest ballistics test for a country speeding up its development of nuclear weapons and missiles.
The rocket was fired from an area near the North Korean county of Pukchang, in South Phyongan Province, and flew eastward about 500 kilometers (310 miles), said South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. The U.S. Pacific Command said it tracked the missile before it landed into the sea.
White House officials traveling in Saudi Arabia with President Donald Trump said the system, which was last tested in February, has a shorter range than the missiles launched in North Korea’s most recent tests.
An official from South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile appeared to be similar in range and apogee to a midrange solid-fuel missile that North Korea fired in February. The missile fired on Sunday reached a maximum altitude of 560 kilometers (347 miles), said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing office rules.
In February, North Korea used a launcher truck to fire a solid-fuel missile that it calls the Pukguksong (Polaris)-2, a land-based version of a submarine-launched missile the country revealed earlier. That missile traveled about 500 kilometers before crashing into the sea, according to South Korean and U.S. officials.
The February launch, the North’s first missile test after Trump took office, alarmed neighbors because solid-fuel missiles can be fired more quickly than liquid-fuel missiles, which need to be fueled before launch and require a larger number of vehicles, including fuel trucks, that could be spotted by satellites.