US, South Korea lack 'political will' on peace talks

US, South Korea lack 'political will' on peace talks

The arrival of new, US-made F-35A stealth fighters in South Korea and USA balliastic missile tests are among the steps that have forced North Korea to continue its own weapons development, the spokesman said.

This picture from KCNA - taken on 29 August and released on 30 August - shows North Korea's Hwasong-12 lifting off from an undisclosed location near Pyongyang.

Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the projectiles were launched early Tuesday from an area near the North's western coast and flew cross-country before landing in waters off the country's eastern coast.

Jenny Town, managing editor at 38 North, a website that tracks North Korea, said: "Part of what's happening now is that North Korea is expressing frustrations with a general lack of progress on inter-Korean agenda while increasing leverage in U.S".

"Despite our repeated warnings, the United States and South Korean authorities have finally started the joint military exercise targeting the DPRK", the foreign ministry spokesman for the nuclear-armed North said, according to KCNA.


Choi Hyun-soo, spokeswoman of South Korea's Defence Ministry, said the North's launches go against the spirit of a bilateral military agreement reached past year to reduce conventional threats.

In a statement, the North's foreign ministry accused the two allies of "playing all sorts of tricks" to justify the military exercises and said their "aggressive nature" could not be covered up.

North Korea has collected an estimated $2 billion by hacking cryptocurrency exchanges and banks to fund its nuclear programs, according to a confidential United Nations (U.N.) report.

What were the earlier launches?

Independent experts monitoring Pyongyang told the UN Security Council's North Korea sanctions committee that the hermit kingdom also "continued to enhance its nuclear and missile programs although it did not conduct a nuclear test or ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) launch".


The JCS said the missiles flew very low and travelled about 220km (140 miles).

North Korea has fired a series of missiles and rockets after criticising the United States and South Korea for its joint drills and adoption of high-tech weapons.

They were the fourth set of launches since July 25.

Trade Minister Sung Yun-mo said the Seoul government will also financially support South Korean companies in mergers and acquisitions of foreign companies and expand tax benefits to lure more global investment, while easing labor and environmental regulations so that local companies could boost their production.

Minutes before the latest test, North Korea's foreign ministry released a statement slamming the joint drills as a "flagrant violation" of its recent agreements with Washington and Seoul.


North Korea also continued to violate sanctions by procuring items for the production of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, the panel said. "But when they sit back, they sharpen a sword to do us harm".

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