U.S. officials play down North Korea missile tests, hold out for new talks

  • 07:34 01 August 2019

U.S. officials play down North Korea missile tests, hold out for new talks

North Korea’s latest missile launches did not violate a pledge its leader Kim Jong Un made to U.S. President Donald Trump, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday, but efforts to resume denuclearization talks remained in doubt, ONA rpeorts quoting Reuters.

Kim oversaw the first test firing of a “new-type large-caliber multiple launch guided rocket system” on Wednesday, North Korean state media reported.

It followed six days after the launch of two similar short-range ballistic missiles, North Korea’s first tests since Kim and Trump met on June 30 and agreed to revive stalled denuclearization talks.

The latest launches were intended to put pressure on South Korea and the United States to stop upcoming military drills and came as diplomats criss-cross the region this week in the hope of restarting the talks.

“The firing of these missiles don’t violate the pledge that Kim Jong Un made to the president about intercontinental-range ballistic missiles,” U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said in an interview with Fox Business News.

“But you have to ask when the real diplomacy is going to begin, when the working-level discussions on denuclearization will begin,” he said.

North Korea’s tests of short-range missiles on Wednesday and last week came despite a meeting between Kim and Trump on June 30 at which they agreed to revive stalled talks.

Faig Mahmudov