North Korea fires short-range missiles as US envoy arrives
On Thursday, North Korea fired two short-range missiles, says South Korea military. Reportedly, the missiles were fired from the town of Sino-ri, Northwest of capital Pyongyang, eastwards into the sea. The reports come days after N.Korea launched multiple unidentified projectiles (at least one is believed to be a short-range missile) that landed into the sea northeast in a "regular and defensive" move on Saturday.
In a statement, Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) reported that the missiles flew 261 and 168 miles respectively and were fired at about 12:30 local time (07:30 GMT). Speaking about the firing, a senior research fellow at the Korea Defense and Security Forum, Yang Uk, said, "One thing is clear - there's no doubt that it is a missile."
Notably, US and N.Korea have been at a stalemate for the past few months over nuclear negotiations. United States Special Representative for N.Korea Stephen Biegun on Wednesday arrived in Seoul for talks on the matter. The circumstances have led officials to believe that N.Korea is trying to send a message. "North Korea has returned to its classic escalation tactics from before," Uk said.
Reportedly, South Korean intelligence agencies are still assessing information from Thursday's launch. Additionally, South Korea's military said that it has increased monitoring and security in the event of another launch and has agreed on working with the US. Analysts said that with the launch, North Korea attempts to build pressure on the US over its failure to make concessions.