North Korea Again Tests 'Super-Large' Rocket Launcher

North Korea Again Tests 'Super-Large' Rocket Launcher

South Korea said North Korea fired "short-range projectiles" into its eastern seas that flew about 330 kilometers (200 miles).

Kim, who had guided the testing of the same multiple rocket launcher before, said its capabilities have been "finally verified in terms of combat operation", and what remains to be done with the rocket launcher is a "running fire test", KCNA said, without elaborating on what the test would entail.

However, they say Tuesday's launches appeared timed to send a message to Washington, potentially to demonstrate what may happen if the US doesn't come to the table with proposals the North sees as realistic.

"The timing could be convenient for USA diplomacy with North Korea", said Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Seoul's Ewha University.

Harry Kazianis, a North Korea expert at Washington's Center for the National Interest think tank, said Trump was now free to find a national security adviser opposed to wars of regime change and willing to back a diplomatic track with North Korea.

A missile blasts off in Kaechon, South Pyongan Province on Tuesday, in this image from the [North] Korean Central News Agency on Wednesday.

The military here has regularly been embarrassed by North Korea a day later, when state media published their own announcements and clips.

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Choe's statement was apparently aimed at pressuring the United States to make concessions when the North Korea-U.S. talks restart.

In a statement issued in late August, Vice Foreign Minister Choe said that expectations of dialogue with the US are "gradually disappearing".

Little progress has been made in getting Kim to give up his weapons programs, but Trump has repeatedly pointed to North Korea's freeze in nuclear and long-range missile tests since 2017 as evidence of the success of his efforts.

North Korea is due to come into focus when the UN General Assembly meeting starts next week in NY, after a UN Security Panel report said Pyongyang was violating sanctions to help fund its weapons programme.

Kim and Trump agreed to restart working-level talks within a few weeks when they met at the inter-Korean border in late June, but the talks have not been held amid heightened tensions amid the North's continued weapons tests. South Korea's top nuclear envoy was due to go to China, the main benefactor of Kim's government, this week to discuss developments on the divided peninsula.

Trump has received plaudits and criticisms for his willingness to engage Kim Jong Un directly in three meetings since June a year ago, the first between leaders of two countries that have remained in a technical state of hostilities since the 1950-53 Korean War.

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