North Korea launches two short-range missiles within a week

Agency, 10 May : North Korea just conducted its second missile test in less than a week — and it’s almost certainly a (literal) warning shot to President Donald Trump that Pyongyang is very, very unhappy that months of nuclear talks have produced few tangible results.

On Thursday afternoon local time, North Korea launched two missiles eastward from the Kusong region in the country’s northwest, according to South Korea’s military. The missiles landed in the East Sea between North Korea and Japan, though Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the missiles had had “no immediate impact on Japan’s security.”

Based on current information, it appears that the two weapons are both short-range ballistic missiles, similar to one tested by Pyongyang last Friday. These kinds of missiles can’t reach America’s mainland or islands, but they can reach South Korea and Japan, threatening the lives of thousands of citizens in those countries, as well as the roughly 80,000 US troops stationed in both nations.

The Thursday launch marks the second time the country fired off a short-range missile in just under a week, the first of which broke a testing pause that lasted more than 500 days.

Neither test ended the country’s self-imposed moratorium on testing longer-range weapons that could target the continental US, which has lasted since November 2017, but they do show that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s patience with nuclear diplomacy is wearing thin.

In February, Trump and Kim met in Hanoi, Vietnam, to try to make a deal on dismantling North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, but the summit ended early after both sides made demands the other side couldn’t accept. It was the latest and greatest failure in the year-long process — and experts say Kim is trying to signal that he’s just about had enough.

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4 months ago

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