SEOUL, South Korea (NBC) – A South Korean military official Friday said the United States and South Korea have determined that two projectiles launched by North Korea were short-range missiles.
It comes a day after the North’s second launch in five days raised jitters about an unraveling detente between the Koreas and the future of US-North Korea nuclear negotiations.
North Korea state media is reporting that Kim Jong-un has ordered his military to boost its strike capability, suggesting recent tests overseen by Kim himself are working toward a new advances missile system.
Kim has been pushing the limits of United Nations resolutions against North Korea with tests that appear to show new and more advanced short-range capabilities.
The Trump administration has so far been willing to downplay these recent tests, pointing out that they don’t involve long-range ballistic missiles capable of hitting the United States.
He said, “They were smaller missiles, short-range missiles. Nobody’s happy about it but we’re taking a good look and we’ll see.”
However, analysts say it misguided to focus on size, that missiles are missiles and what this test shows is that Kim is making progress in particular in solid fuel technology that makes missiles easier to launch undetected.
In South Korea, President Moon Jae-in has warned the North if this continues it’s going to jeopardize any efforts toward dialogue.
The US special envoy for North Korea was in South Korea Friday for talks with South Korean officials. But President Trump appears to be wanting to preserve what is his only foreign policy win and not wanting to let progress with Kim unravel.
However, the dialogue that existed over the last year up until a few months ago is at a standstill and things appear to be falling back into familiar territory.