SEOUL (Reuters) – The leader of North Korea ordered his military to increase his attack capability when he commanded another missile launch, state media said Friday.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversees a military exercise in North Korea. This photo was provided on May 1
Kim Jong Un's call for "full combat stance" came when the United States announced it had confiscated a large cargo ship for the shipment of an illegal coal shipment.
Increasing tensions are building up a jam in dialogue after the second summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump broke because of US demands for nuclear disarmament of Pyongyang and Kim's call for sanctions to be lifted.
"(Kim) emphasized the need to further improve the ability of defense units in the front line and on the Western Front to carry out combat tasks and maintain full combat posture to cope with any emergency," news agency KCNA reported.
He pointed out that "true peace and security in the country can only be guaranteed by the strong physical force that can defend its sovereignty," KCNA said, adding, "It has been an important task to further increase the ability to beat . "
The test of two short-range missiles on Thursday and a series of shots fired on Saturday were the first rocket launches in the north since November 2017, when the North shot down an ICBM (Intercontinental Rocket).
Later, Kim stated that his nuclear power construction was complete and held three summits with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and two with Trump.
Both Trump and Moon said the recent missile tests were unhelpful, but hinted that they would not outsmart the dialogue.
"I know they want to bargain, they talk about negotiations. But I do not think they are willing to bargain, "Trump told reporters.
"They were smaller missiles, short-range missiles," he said. "Nobody is happy about it, but we are watching closely and we will see."
South Korea's Moon said late Thursday that the tests were likely a response to the failed second summit with Trump in Hanoi in February, thinking North Korea was still hoping for continuation of negotiations.
The recent tests quickly followed US test launches of Minuteman III ICS missile over the Pacific and the Trident II submarine missile launch missile (SLBM) off Florida.
It also fell to the South with a visit by US Special Representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, to hold talks with his South Korean counterpart and the Blue House President and the Ministry of the United Nations.
The two rockets were fired Thursday from Kusong, an area northwest of Pyongyang, flying 420 km (260 miles) and 270 km (168 miles) and reaching a height of about 50 km before they reached the sea. South Korea's military said.
The North Korean state media provided no information about the missiles.
The South Korean and US military analyze the tests. This includes whether it is the Russian-developed Iskander ballistic missile system, said Ahn Gyu-baek, chairman of the defense committee in the South Korean parliament, told reporters.
According to analysts, numerous tests have shown that North Korea is serious about deploying a fleet of rockets that could be deployed in the early wars with the United States South Korea.
Washington has not indicated that the North's demand for some sanctions will change when it announced Thursday the seizure of a North Korean cargo ship that was said to be involved in the illegal transportation of coal ,
The Department of Justice said the 17.061-ton Wise Honest was one of the largest cargo ships in the North and was first captured by Indonesia in April 2018, but is now owned by the United States. The announcement has no connection with the rocket activities of the North, said a US official.
Reporting by Joyce Lee, Josh Smith of Seoul, David Brunnstrom of Washington and Michelle Nichols of the United Nations; Letter from Jack Kim