North Korea calls missile tests a 'warning'

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on August 7, 2019 - Duration: 01:40s

North Korea calls missile tests a 'warning'

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says his country's latest launch of tactical guided missiles was a warning to the United States and South Korea over their joint military drills this week.

Eve Johnson reports.

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North Korea calls missile tests a 'warning'

A shot across the bow: that's what North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is calling this week's missile tests.

Official state media on Wednesday (August 7) released images of Kim watching the launches.

It quoted the Supreme Leader calling the tests a warning to the U.S. and South Korea.

That warning is aimed south of the heavily-armed border where the two allies are holding annual military drills.

This year, the drills are mostly computer simulated - not the usual large-scale exercises of the past.

Those have been suspended as part of negotiations with the North.

But Pyongyang doesn't seem appeased, warning the drills could derail nuclear talks.

Tuesday's short-range tests were the fourth in less than two weeks.

State media called it a new type of tactical guided missile.

Both Washington and Seoul have played down the tests U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton on Tuesday went on Fox News to remind everyone that Kim has promised President Donald Trump he would NOT launch longer-range missiles - the kind that could threaten the United States.

But he also said Trump was watching the situation closely, a statement underlined by U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper after a meeting with Japan's prime minister on Wednesday (August 7).

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, MARK ESPER, SAYING "North Korea also remains a great concern, and we deeply appreciate Japan's assistance in enforcing United Nations' security council resolution." The U.S. wants North Korea to scrap its nuclear weapons program.

But negotiations are currently on hold.

North Korea's foreign ministry on Tuesday (August 6) said it would give the U.S. until the end of the year to soften its policies of sanctions and political pressure.

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