North Korea has launched at least two unidentified projectiles just hours after it offered to restart nuclear talks with the US.
The projectiles, which were fired toward the sea, are believed to have been used as a ploy to pressure the US into making compromises in negotiations it wants to schedule for the end of the month.
It is understood that North Korea is willing to offer partial denuclearisation in return for the US providing security guarantees and the lifting of crippling sanctions – a proposal that led to the latest talks in February falling apart.
But North Korea’s first vice foreign minister Choe Son Hui warned on Monday evening that such talks could be final if the US is not willing to come to the negotiating table with reasonable proposals.
In response, US President Donald Trump said he found the offer “interesting”, and added in a vague comment: “We’ll see what happens.”
He said: “In the meantime, we have our hostages back, we’re getting the remains of our great heroes back and we’ve had no nuclear testing for a long time.”
The White House made no immediate comment after the launch of the projectiles.
Meanwhile, South Korea’s national security adviser Chung Eui-yong held an emergency meeting over its “strong concern” for the continued short-range launches from the North.
Monday’s launch was the first since August, but the eighth since the end of July.
Expert analysis from these previous incidents showed the North was using short-range missile and rocket systems that could possibly extend to targets across South Korea, including US military bases stationed there.
South Korea says the most recent projectiles were launched from South Pyongan, a province surrounding the North’s capital Pyongyang, and were directed toward the east coast.
It said it would continue to monitor any further launches, but did not provide details on what projectiles were specifically used.