Kim’s Solemn Warning: Two ’Unidentified Projectiles’ into Sea of Japan
By Staff, Agencies
North Korea conducted the latest in a series of missile launches Saturday to protest US-South Korean war games, just hours after US President Donald Trump expressed his own frustration with the exercises.
Defense officials in Seoul said what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles were fired at daybreak from near the northeastern city of Hamhung, flying 250 miles before splashing down in the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan.
It was the fifth round of launches in two weeks, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un labeling them a "solemn warning" over the joint military drills that began just days ago.
Saturday's tests came shortly after Trump said he agreed with Kim's opposition to the war games -- albeit for financial rather than military reasons.
Trump has repeatedly talked up his close personal relationship with Kim, as his administration seeks to resume stalled denuclearization talks with the North.
"I got a very beautiful letter from Kim Jong Un yesterday," Trump said. "It was a very positive letter."
"He wasn't happy with the war games. I've never liked it either. I've never been a fan. And you know why? I don't like paying for it."
Hours later, the White House had no immediate comment on the newest rocket tests.
"We are consulting closely with our Japanese and South Korean allies," a senior administration official said.
The joint drills and ongoing military exercises in North Korea left a "high" possibility of further missile launches, Seoul's military Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.
"Our military is monitoring the situation in case of additional launches while maintaining a readiness posture," the statement said.