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North Korea fires missiles after dialogue offer

North Korea fires missiles after dialogue offer

The missile tests also come at a time of increasing friction between Japan and South Korea, two key United States allies in the region.

North Korea fired two missiles on Tuesday morning that flew about 205 miles before falling in waters near Alsom Island, off the coast of North Hamgyong Province, Seoul's joint chiefs of staff said. Tuesday's firing was the 10th weapon test North Korea has conducted this year.North Korea had first fired multiple short-range missiles in May, in what was an apparent frustration over the breakdown of the Hanoi summit in Vietnam in February, where the reclusive country and the U.S. had reportedly failed to sort out their differences regarding sanction waivers.

Choe's statement and the following projectile launches were apparently aimed at pressuring the United States to make concessions when the North Korea-U.S. talks restart.

Hong said North Korea wants talks on its terms, and to avoid the outcome of the Hanoi Summit in February. One is reported to have flown roughly 330 kilometers - the other, some distance less than that - and they are reported to have reached an altitude of 50 to 60 kilometers.

Analysts say the short-range missiles being tested threaten U.S. troops deployed in northeast Asia and citizens living in US-allied countries like South Korea and Japan.

The launches came hours after Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said in a statement carried by state media that North Korea was willing to have "comprehensive discussions" with the United States in late September at a time and place to be agreed. She had asked that the USA come prepared with a "proposal prepared to the interests" of North Korea.

Most of the North Korean weapons tested in July and August have been short range.

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Trump and Kim agreed to resume working-level talks when they met at the inter-Korean border in June.

Hours before the latest firing of projectiles, however, a senior North Korean diplomat suddenly extended an olive branch, saying Pyongyang is ready to talk with the United States later this month. "I always say having meetings is a good thing, not a bad thing".

Trump said that Kim had only agreed to stop testing long-range ballistic missiles - the type that can reach the United States mainland - and nuclear weapons.

At their first summit more than a year ago in Singapore, Trump and Kim adopted a statement calling for the "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula". To the contrary, a United Nations report last week said the North's development of nuclear warheads has not stopped.

US President Donald Trump has played down the tests when speaking about North Korea publicly.

Harry Kazianis, a North Korea expert at Washington's Centre 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.


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