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North Korea launches two ‘unidentified projectiles’

North Korea launched at least two “unidentified projectiles” early Thursday morning, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

People watch a television news programme showing file footage of North Korea’s projectile weapons, at a railway station in Seoul, May 9, 2019.

A U.S. official confirmed that North Korea had launched two short range missiles.

“North Korea today launched two unidentifiable objects at 5:34 and 5:57 am,” according to a statement from South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. “Flight distance was approximately 430 kilometers (267 miles).

Earlier, when the South Korean military had tracked the first launch, the statement said, “Our military is keeping close watch in case of additional launches.”

The missiles were fired from Wonsan in eastern North Korea and landed in the Sea of Japan.

They are now holding a private bilateral meeting at the demilitarized zone (DMZ).

Two U.S. officials confirmed to ABC News that North Korea has fired at least one short range projectile. One of the officials characterized it as a short range missile.

Earlier, another official said the latest launch appeared similar to the two short-range missiles fired by North Korea on May 9. Those missiles traveled similar distances, but were not intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM’s) that are of most concern to U.S. officials.

President Donald Trump downplayed the launches in May that would have been violations of United Nations Security Council resolutions.

“My people think it could have been a violation, as you know,” he said at the time. “I view it differently.”

Following Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore last year, Kim committed to not conducting ICBM launches or nuclear tests while the U.S. and North Korea engaged in discussions towards a possible denuclearization deal.

On Monday, Trump reaffirmed to reporters that North Korea had continued to abide by Kim’s personal commitment.

“Our relationship with North Korea has been very good. We’ve really established a good relationship with Kim Jong Un,” said Trump. “There’s no rocket testing. There’s no missile testing. We’re getting our remains back. We got our hostages back. And we have a very, very good relationship, the two of us, and that’s very important.”

Following Trump’s June 30 meeting with Kim at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing South Korea and North Korea U.S. officials hoped that working level talks between the U.S. and North Korea would resume after the failure of the Trump-Kim meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam.

But last week, North Korea hinted that those talks might not occur if the U.S. went ahead with a scheduled military exercise with South Korea in August.

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