SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korea fired two unidentified projectiles from a coastal area Monday as it resumed weapons demonstrations following a months-long hiatus.
The launches came two days after North Koreaâ€™s state media said leader Kim Jong Un supervised an artillery drill aimed at testing the combat readiness of units in front-line and eastern areas.
Seoulâ€™s Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed the launches in a statement but couldnâ€™t immediately confirm how far the projectiles flew or whether the weapons were ballistic or rocket artillery.
During a key ruling party meeting in late December, Kim expressed deep frustration over deadlocked diplomacy with the United States and said he wonâ€™t denuclearize if the U.S. persists with its hostile policy on his country. He also said he would unveil a new â€œstrategic weapon” soon and no longer be bound by a self-imposed weapons test moratorium that coincided with his diplomacy with Trump.
Nuclear diplomacy between North Korea and the U.S. has largely stalled since the breakdown of Kimâ€™s second summit with Trump in February 2019 in Vietnam. That summit collapsed because Trump rejected Kimâ€™s demands for broad sanctions relief in return for dismantling his main nuclear complex, a limited disarmament step. Subsequent talks between Pyongyang and Washington reported little progress.
After the failed Hanoi summit, North Korea carried out a slew of short-range missile and other weapons tests. Trump downplayed them saying there were short-range weapons that didnâ€™t pose a direct threat to the U.S. mainland.