TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -The South Korean military initially described it as a missile launch, but subsequently gave a more vague description. The latest firing came after the North’s test of what it called a tactical guided weapons system in April.
Analysts suspected the flurry of military activity by Pyongyang was an attempt to exert pressure on the United States to give ground in negotiations to end the North’s nuclear program after a summit in February ended in failure.
South Korea’s presidency urged North Korea to refrain from further action in one of the most stiffly-worded statements since the two Koreas embarked on reconciliation efforts early last year.
“We are very concerned about the North’s latest action,” South Korea’s presidential spokeswoman said in the statement, adding that it violates an inter-Korean military agreement.
“We expect North Korea to actively join efforts toward the fast resumption of denuclearization talks,” she said, after a meeting attended by the country’s defense minister, presidential security advisors, and intelligence chief.
Talks stalled after a second summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump in Hanoi in February failed to produce a deal to end Pyongyang’s nuclear program in return for sanctions relief.
Yang Uk, a senior research fellow at the Korea Defence and Security Forum, described Saturday’s action as an expression of the North’s frustration.