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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

DPRK fires more projectiles

  • May 10, 2019
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All national dailies wrote that South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff announced that the DPRK on Thursday fired what appeared to be two short-range missiles into waters off its east coast. According to the South Korean military, the projectiles were fired eastward from the Kusong area of North Pyongan Province in the northwestern part of the country at around 4:30 p.m. One of the projectiles flew about 420 km and the other flew about 270 km before splashing down in the Sea of Japan.

 

Asahi conjectured that the United States and South Korea are trying to determine whether the projectiles were ballistic missiles that would violate the UN sanctions resolutions. Noting that the DPRK also fired several short-range projectiles from its east coast on May 4, the paper speculated that Pyongyang may have raised the level of provocation by firing longer-range projectiles yesterday. Yomiuri speculated that the recent projectile launches amid what the paper described as an “impasse” in U.S.-DPRK nuclear talks were intended to send a warning to Washington since it hasn’t responded Pyongyang’s call for lifting economic sanctions. Yomiuri conjectured that Thursday’s firing of more projectiles was aimed at achieving a breakthrough in what the paper described as the “stalled” U.S.-DPRK talks by provoking Washington, which responded calmly to the projectile launch on May 4. Mainichi speculated that the launches were aimed at gaining an advantage in future talks with the United States by raising the level of tension. The paper added that the launches may cast a shadow over Prime Minister Abe’s efforts to meet in person with DPRK leader Kim Jong Un if the projectiles are confirmed to have been ballistic missiles that violate UNSC resolutions. Nikkei conjectured that the DPRK is probably raising the level of provocation to urge the United States to ease economic sanctions.

 

Prime Minister Abe told reporters on Thursday that the GOJ has confirmed that there is no indication that the projectiles had an impact on Japan’s security. Defense Minister Iwaya separately told the press that the projectiles did not land in Japan’s territorial waters or exclusive economic zone. Iwaya reportedly added that Japan will remain vigilant and make utmost efforts to collect and analyze information by coordinating with the United States and South Korea. According to Nikkei, Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Nagamine spoke by phone with Special Representative for North Korea Biegun, who is visiting South Korea this week, and South Korea’s Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Lee Do-hoon, to confirm close coordination.

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