70 countries urge North Korea to scrap nuclear, ballistic weapons

Photos released by state media on Friday showed Thursday's test involved the same weapon. If the USA prevails, it will be able to sell the vessel.

Attempts by the Pentagon to retrieve remains of U.S. troops from North Korea stopped due to a lack of communication from Pyongyang, U.S. officials said.

Analysts said the multiple tests signaled that North Korea is serious about deploying an operational fleet of the missiles, which could be used in the opening hours of any war with the United States and South Korea.

Retired three-star general Shin Won-shik warned that the Russian-type short-range missile could be capable of evading missile defense systems.

President Trump says he takes this latest provocation "very seriously".

The Yonhap News Agency later quoted the JCS as saying that the missiles had reached an altitude of about 50 km.

North Korea's Rodong Sinmun newspaper, the mouthpiece of the ruling party, devoted its entire front page and half of page two to the launch on Friday, with 16 pictures, the main one of Kim watching the launch from a camouflaged shelter. "They could carry a nuclear weapon".

Following the collapse of the Trump-Kim meeting, the North had demanded the South proceed with inter-Korean economic projects held back by US-led sanctions against the North. Trump stressed that the missiles fired were not of a kind that could threaten the United States. North Korea conducted two rounds of ballistic missile tests in a week, its first such activity in almost a year and a half.

He said the weapons were smaller, short-range missiles, but added: "Nobody's happy about it".

The Pentagon said Thursday's launches consisted of multiple ballistic missiles that flew in excess of 300 km (185 miles) and landed in the ocean.

What was launched on Thursday is a crucial detail, as North Korea is banned by the United Nations from testing ballistic missiles.

The request was made in writing, officials said, as part of the cultural exchange between the two countries, and at one point the North Koreans insisted that it be included in the joint statement on denuclearization. The ship, in what USA officials say was a clear act of concealment, also turned off an automatic signal system meant to alert other ships of its course and location. He said the new launches could only worsen the growing tensions.

"If North Korea pulls out (an ICBM) everyone knows it'll be launched with a nuke", she said.

Ahn said South Korean military officials had assessed a number of potential political motives behind the missile launches.

The tests also likely held a message for domestic audiences created to boost support for Kim's government, he said.

The launches are believed to have marked North Korea's first ballistic missile test in more than 500 days.

"The Kim regime is determined to fight pressure with pressure", said Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul. "And North Korea's future strategy will be to raise questions about ensuring its security", Cheong Seong-Chang said.

While Kim may not return to launching ICBMs or testing nuclear weapons immediately, he may seek other provocative ways to break the stalemate, Pollack said.

Since then Kim has accused Washington of acting in "bad faith" and given it until the end of the year to change its approach.


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