Seoul said that North Korea has fired two “unidentified projectiles” on Thursday — the Thanksgiving holiday in the US — as nuclear talks between Pyongyang and Washington remain deadlocked.
The brief statement from the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said Pyongyang fired two projectiles eastwards from South Hamgyong province which came down in the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea.
It said the launch was carried out in the early hours of the day in Washington DC, on one of the US’ biggest annual holidays.
Japan’s defence ministry described the projectiles as “ballistic missile-like” but they did not come down in the country’s exclusive economic zone.
Thursday’s launch was the latest in a series of weapons tests by Pyongyang, which fired what it called two “super-large multiple rocket launcher” systems last month.
Earlier in the month, North Korea had carried out a “successful” new test of its “super-larger multiple rocket launcher” system, the latest in a series of provocations by Pyongyang.
US President Donald Trump has played down the recent launches, repeatedly pointing to North Korea’s moratorium on nuclear tests and intercontinental ballistic missile launches as foreign policy successes for him.
Trump and Kim then agreed to restart working-level talks during a brief meeting at the Demilitarized Zone dividing the peninsula in June.
Kim and US President Donald Trump adopted a vaguely-worded statement on the “complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula” at their first summit in Singapore in June last year, but little progress has since been made.
In August this year, North Korea fired two unidentified projectiles into the East Sea.
North Korea is under multiple sets of international sanctions over its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programmes and lifting some of them was a key demand at the Hanoi summit.
North Korea repeatedly has issued warnings against the combined military exercise between South Korea and the US, threatening that it would seek “a new way” rather than engagement if Seoul goes ahead with such a rehearsal for invasion.
(With inputs from agency)