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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Report: North Korea fired ballistic missiles over weekend

North Korea fired multiple short-range missiles over the weekend, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported on Wednesday.
Pyongyang fired two cruise missiles off its west coast on Sunday; Yonhap cited military sources in Seoul as saying.
According to a senior U.S. administration official, the launches were part of “normal testing” not in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
“We’ve learnt nothing much has changed,” U.S. President Joe Biden told reporters in Columbus, Ohio, when he was asked about the launches.
According to the U.S. Defense Department, Biden added, “it’s business as usual. There’s no new wrinkle in what they did.”
The test on Sunday came in the wake of joint military exercises by the armed forces of South Korea and the U.S. The nine-day command exercise, which did not include field training, ended on Thursday last week.
The influential sister of North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un, Kim Yo Jong, had condemned the military exercises and accused the new U.S. administration of wanting to cause trouble as a first step.
The rogue nuclear nation is banned from testing ballistic missiles by UN resolutions, and has been slapped with tough international sanctions to deter it from continuing to develop rockets that could be equipped with nuclear warheads.
The sanctions imposed as a result of the weapons programme were hampering North Korea’s economic development.
Global concerns about North Korea intensified late in 2019 after Pyongyang imposed a year-end deadline for the U.S. to offer sanctions relief and threatened to send a “Christmas gift,” widely interpreted to mean a weapons test, if demands were not met.
Washington’s negotiations with North Korea over its nuclear weapons programme have not made any progress since former president Donald Trump’s failed summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam in February 2019.
Although Trump touted his friendly relationship with Kim, the two sides failed to agree on a roadmap for North Korea’s disarmament and what Pyongyang could receive in return.
Last week, North Korea’s first deputy foreign minister, Choe Son Hui, vowed to ignore U.S. attempts to establish contact until Washington has met Pyongyang’s conditions, indicating any movement on the debate about its nuclear weapons programme remains a long way away.
According to media reports, the U.S. has been trying to contact North Korea since mid-February. (dpa/NAN)

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