Officially, North Korea had not carried out a missile strike since November 29, 2017. She had then tested an intercontinental ballistic missile she thought she could reach the United States.
Relations between Pyongyang and Washington are once again in turmoil. North Korea announced on Friday (May 10th) a “long-range” strike test in the aftermath of the US court seizure of a North Korean freighter accused of violating international sanctions. exporting coal and importing machinery. This North Korean trial took place just as Stephen Biegun, US Special Representative for North Korea, was visiting Seoul, South Korea.
“Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un read a plan to conduct an exercise (…) using several long-range strikes, and gave the order to proceed with the exercise” The official North Korean news agency, KCNA, reported, without specifying the type of weapons tested and not including the word “missile”. The Pyongyang announcement contradicts information from the South Korean army that the weapons tested are two short-range missiles that have traveled 270 and 420 kilometers respectively.
- Official first shot since November 2017
The US President, Donald Trump, assured to study “very seriously” the situation. The leader, who usually insists on the quality of his relations with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, has openly questioned his willingness to negotiate seriously on the denuclearization of the peninsula. “No one is happy with what happened,” he said, referring to “short-range missiles” as well. “The relationship continues, but we will see,” he added, claiming he felt that North Koreans were not really “ready to negotiate.”
Officially, North Korea has not carried out a missile strike since November 29, 2017. She then tested an intercontinental ballistic missile, which she thought she could reach the United States. But according to experts, several projectiles have already been fired on Saturday, including a short-range missile.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in warned that Thursday’s firing “could make negotiations more difficult” with the United States on nuclear power. The trial comes amid growing mistrust since the Tran-Kim Jong-un summit in Hanoi in February, which ended in disagreement. The North Korean leader called for a lifting of sanctions too important in the eyes of Donald Trump, in exchange for a beginning of denuclearization.