North Korea fired two unidentified projectiles on Tuesday morning, according to South Korean media.
The launches occurred on the same day that First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui announced that the nation was ready to restart denuclearization talks with the U.S.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed the launches and said they were continuing to be “maintaining a state of readiness.” The projectiles, which were probably missiles, landed in the Sea of Japan.
The National Security Council in South Korea called an emergency meeting after the launch. It is the tenth launch since May.
“We wish he would stop”
Japan, South Korea, and other U.S. allies said the launches violate a U.N. resolution. President Donald Trump is downplaying the launches, however, saying they don’t violate his agreement with North Korean President Kim Jong Un.
According to Trump, Kim had agreed to stop testing only long-range ballistic missiles that could possibly reach the U.S. mainland and nuclear weapons.
According to CNN, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agreed that Jong Un has not violated his agreement with Trump, but said he was “disappointed” by the repeated launches. “We wish that he would stop that,” Pompeo said.
But the primary goal has been to get North Korea back to the negotiating table and accomplish its complete and verifiable denuclearization, Pompeo noted.
Working on a deal
North Korea has said it is looking to the U.S. to come up with a plan that meets its requirements. Son Hui said that North Korea may pull out of talks completely if they don’t see a U.S. proposal they like.
The spokesman made it clear that he thinks the U.S. has been given more than enough time to come up with a plan that will satisfy Pyongyang. Trump is eager to make a deal with North Korea, but has not compromised on requirements that changes must happen before sanctions will be lifted.
Trump can so easily see through North Korea’s blustering that he won’t even justify it with a response. Shooting short-range missiles into the sea is Kim’s equivalent of strutting around like a proud peacock.
It’s what happens in the actual negotiation that will tell the story of Trump’s success or failure in North Korea, not these launches.