North Korea has fired a barrage of short-range missiles towards the Sea of Japan, in first such action in over a year amid deadlocked nuclear talks with the United States.
The North "fired multiple rounds of unidentified missiles from its east coast town of Wonsan in the northeastern direction between 9:06 a.m. and 9:27 a.m. today," South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency quoted the country’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) as saying in a Saturday statement, Presstv Reported.
The projectiles flew about 70-100 kilometers over the East Sea, also known as Sea of Japan, before landing in the sea, the brief statement said, adding that South Korean and US authorities “are analyzing details of the missiles.”
“So far Sarah Sanders [White House Press Secretary] has said that they are just following it closely. In terms of the message being sent, I think it is very clear. There is a lot of frustration on their side because they thought that the entire second meeting [with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un] was a fiasco. The letter that Donald Trump delivered saying that you need to give up all of your nuclear weapons as a prelude to any further negotiations was not received well. Remember last week he was meeting with Putin. I think he was trying to send a very clear message that what he wants is security guarantees,” Einar Tangen, author and columnist told Press TV in an interview on Saturday.
“Unfortunately the real victim here is South Korea because they have been the ones who have been moving forward with North Korea. They have already issued a statement saying they are extremely concerned at this, they don’t want to heighten tensions and unfortunately this kind of after effect between Trump and Kim is that it is derailing the entire process,” he added.
Trump and Kim met at a historic summit for the first time in June last year in Singapore, where they agreed to work toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Subsequent diplomacy between the two sides, however, made little progress, mainly because Washington refused to lift its crippling sanctions.
Washington has refused to offer any sanctions relief in return for several unilateral steps already taken by North Korea. Pyongyang, on the other hand, has suspended its missile and nuclear testing, demolished at least one nuclear test site, and agreed to allow international inspectors into a missile engine test facility.