North Korea says Kim oversaw rocket launch despite apology to Trump

North Korea says Kim oversaw rocket launch despite apology to Trump

North Korea showed off more missiles on Sunday, hours after President Donald Trump said he's not anxious about the recent spate of launches and raised hope for new nuclear talks with the communist state.

"Given that the military exercise clearly puts us as an enemy in its concept ... an inter-Korean contact itself will be hard to be made unless they put an end to such a military exercise or before they make a plausible excuse" for the drills, Kwon said, according to KCNA.

KCNA didn't specify whether the weapons were ballistic missiles or rocket artillery, but said they were developed to suit the North's "terrain condition" and provide "advantageous tactical character different from existing weapons systems".

The Hermit Kingdom's official newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, published photos of Kim watching with other military officials from what appeared to be an observation post. Intelligence analysts interviewed by the Wall Street Journal have said that it is possible that North Korea could have made 6-7 nuclear weapons since Trump and Kim's first meeting in June 2018.


South Korea's military had described the previous missiles as similar to the Russian-made Iskander, a solid-fuel, nuclear-capable missile that is highly maneuverable and travels on low trajectories, improving its chances of evading missile defense systems. -South Korea military drills the North claims are an invasion rehearsal.

The rocket launches by North Korea are seen as a protest against joint military exercises by the United States and South Korea that Kim's regime considers a rehearsal to an invasion.

Trump has appeared determined to secure a denuclearisation agreement with North Korea ahead of next year's United States presidential elections, despite a breakdown in talks since he first met Kim in a historic summit in Singapore in June 2018. "No ballistic missile tests, no long-range missiles", Trump said.

North Korea in recent months has ignored the South's calls for dialogue while demanding that Seoul turn away from Washington and resume inter-Korean economic cooperation held back by US -led sanctions against the North.


"Given that the military exercise clearly puts us as an enemy in its concept", said Kwon Jong Gun, director-general for American affairs at the foreign ministry.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff had earlier said the presumed ballistic missiles fired from North Korea's east coast flew about 248 miles (400 kilometres) before landing in waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.

Pyongyang has lauded Trump and his personal ties with Kim while chastising South Korea as a "puppet" regime following the orders of its master, the United States. The official said any future talks would involve only the North and the US, not South Korea, who he criticized for not recognizing Pyeongyang's right to self-defense.

"It is a miscalculation if they think that the very change of the name of the exercise can alter its aggressive nature", Kwon said. Noting that it was "a long letter, much of it complaining about the ridiculous and expensive exercises,"... Kim also offered a "small apology for testing the short range missiles", the USA leader noted, and said the tests would end once the military drills wrap up on August 20.


The current command post exercise is aimed at testing the South's capabilities as it hopes to assume operational control of the military from the US should war break out.

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