While Trump downplayed the rockets and dismissed them as short-term and not a violation of its agreements with the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the US allies in South Korea and Japan, could cause concern. Experts say the new missiles are more accurate and potentially harder for enemies to hit.
"So far we have seen six missile tests in recent weeks, and these missile tests continue to show a significant improvement in the North Korean missile program," said CNN military analyst and retired Air Force chief Cedric Leighton. 1
National Security Advisor to the White House John Bolton told VOA Thursday that our allies are "quite worried about it".
"At the last test of a rocket we call KN23, we believe the range could probably hit all of South Korea and parts of Japan," Bolton continued. "That would of course endanger our forces."
In the US, about 28,000 soldiers are stationed in South Korea and another 50,000 in Japan.
Bolton added that the missile launches "violated UN Security Council sanctions," but "did not violate Kim Jong Un's promise to President Trump," adding that "for all those watching the peninsula, are disturbing ". 19659003] In a report dated August 17, Korean media reported that Kim himself "reiterated the test fire of a new weapon Friday morning." The state-run news agency KCNA claimed that the test had shown "perfect results" and "built confidence", and that the missiles were being developed for the sake of national defense and "the most important military devices".
The nation's plan, said KCNA is to create a "powerful force strong enough to prevent all forces [other] from provoking us".
US officials, including Foreign Minister Michael Pompeo, have repeatedly stated that their goal is the fully verifiable denuclearization of North Korea and that Kim agrees with this plan.
On Friday, South Korea urged North Korea to suspend the ongoing series of short-distance starts. According to a statement by the President of the Blue House after an emergency, they could escalate the military tensions meeting of the National Security Council of South Korea.
The statement further states that the US and South Korea are analyzing recent kills.
Experts see the latest rocket as an indication of improved military capabilities: the test appeared to be successful, and the rocket has features that could make it harder for the US military to shoot it down.
These features include lower trajectory and maneuverability that could help prevent missile defense, according to Thomas Karako, director of the Missile Defense Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
"That's important, because when you fire your interceptor, you have to estimate where (the impending missile is). For them, accuracy is something they've had trouble with in the past, but they get more and more accurate any of the missile tests we've seen, "said Leighton.
Karako said that while the missile represents a "significant capability," he said that US forces in South Korea had foreseen this sort of threat in recent years and had been working on the Patriot and THAAD missile defense systems on the peninsula to counteract the threat that some consider to be similar to the Russian military's Iskander missiles. Nuclear and longer range missile launches, which could potentially reach the continental United States, continued to erode shorter-range variants.
Pyongyang has tied the missile launches to an ongoing US South Korean military exercise that is expected to take until the end of the month.
"It was a long letter from which Much of the ri complained about annoying and expensive exercises, it was also a small excuse for testing the short-range missiles, and these tests would stop when the exercises ended, "Trump tweeted earlier this month.
While the US and South Korea attempted to lower the profile of their joint military exercises in order not to hinder diplomatic efforts, military officials consider such exercises as crucial to maintaining their preparedness.
Trump has called the exercises "war games" in the past and called them "ridiculous" and "expensive".
By downplaying the missile tests, Trump could try to keep the diplomatic efforts alive with Kim, but there seems to be little tangible progress in denuclearization, despite the letter.
"We did not have any substantive negotiations At the working level with North Korea since the president met with Kim Jong Un in the demilitarized zone in June, Bolton told VOA.
We hope these talks start soon The question is whether North Korea will make the clear strategic decision to abandon its nuclear weapons and its delivery system, "he added.