North Korea on early Thursday test-fired two new short-range ballistic missiles in a first since Kim’s meeting with US President Donald Trump at the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between the Koreas last month, where they agreed to resume stalled denuclearization talks.
“We cannot but develop non-stop super-powerful weapon systems to remove the potential and direct threats to the security of our country that exist in the South,” Kim said, according to state news agency KCNA.
While the report did not mention Trump or the US, it noted that Kim was critical of Seoul’s plans to continue joint exercises with the US military on the Korean Peninsula.
The South Korean leader advised South Korean authorities to stop such “suicidal acts” and warned them that they “should not make a mistake of ignoring the warning.”
He further said that he was “satisfied” with the new weapon’s rapid response and low-altitude trajectory, which he said allows it to better evade air defenses.
The South’s National Security Council said after the tests that it believed the missiles were a new type of ballistic missile, but the final assessment would be released after discussing the matter with the US.
North Korea fires 2 missiles toward Sea of Japan: SouthSouth Korea’s military says North Korea has launched two short-range missiles toward the East Sea.
Both South Korea and the US responded negatively to the tests.
Seoul asked Pyongyang to stop acts that are unhelpful to easing tensions and said the tests posed a military threat.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News Thursday that Kim had agreed during his meeting with Trump to “avoid launching intermediate-range and long-range ballistic missiles” and “put his negotiating team back in the game.”
“You know, lots of countries posture before they come to the table,” he said.
The US State Department said Pyongyang should refrain from further provocations and that it looked forward to resuming working-level talks on North Korea’s denuclearization.
As a precondition, North Korea says it would only come to the negotiating table when the joint US-South Korean military exercises end.