According to South Korea’s military, the North Koreans fired two short-range projectiles into the sea off its east coast on Thursday. North Korean media reported that Kim was greatly satisfied with the missile launch. Pyongyang’s official KCNA news agency said: ”The volley test-fire aimed to finally examine the combat application of the super-large multiple launch rocket system proved the military and technical superiority of the weapon system and its firm reliability.
“The Supreme Leader expressed great satisfaction over the results of the test-fire.”
The new missile tests are the 13th rocket or missile test since May.
They appear to be an attempt to put pressure on the US president to kick-start the stalled negotiations between the two countries.
Kim set an end of year deadline for talks to re-commence and is demanding that the US lifts its punitive sanctions against the country.
He warned that if there is no tangible progress, then North Korea could take a “new path,” raising concerns it may resume nuclear and long-range missile testing suspended since 2017.
U.S. top nuclear negotiator Stephen Biegun said last week the year-end deadline was an artificial one, but could mean a return to “provocative” steps that preceded the past two years of diplomacy.
Analysts believe that the increase in hostile rhetoric by the Kim administration is a sign that the supreme leader is desperate to finally deliver on a promise to his people to lift sanctions and rebuild the country’s ailing economy.
They claim that North Korea’s increasingly urgent statements are designed to pressure Washington to return to the negotiating table with a more flexible proposal.
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Last month talks between the US and North Korea over denuclearisation broke down in acrimony.
Officials from North Korea and the US had met for talks in Sweden at the beginning of October in an effort to thrash out an agreement.
They met on an island north-east of Stockholm called Lidingo, where North Korea has its embassy.
However, the Koreans, led by their top nuclear envoy Kim Myong Gil, left the meeting early and later issued an angry statement saying that the US side had brought “nothing to the negotiation table” and needed to get rid of their “hostile policy” toward Pyongyang.
A day after the meeting, the North Korean Central News Agency published a statement giving the Americans a deadline until the end of the year to find a workable solution.
The statement read: “As we have clearly identified the way for solving the problem, the fate of the future DPRK-U.S. dialogue depends on the U.S. attitude, and the end of this year is its deadline.”