North Korea rejects peace talks with South Korea
Pyongyang follows statement with two further missile tests
North Korea has rejected further peace talks with South Korea and declared that its decision is “completely the fault of South Korea's actions”.
The statement followed a speech by South Korea President Moon Jae-in on Thursday, in which he promised to unite the Korean peninsula by 2045. In it, he said: “A new Korean peninsula, one that will bring peace and prosperity to itself, east Asia and the world, awaits us.”
Describing Moon as “impudent” and “a shameless man,” the North rejected further dialogue when “South Korea continues its joint military exercise” with the US.
The statement added: “We even question if [Moon's] thought process is sound when he mentions ‘talks’ between North and South while playing out war scenarios that plan to destroy most of our armies in 90 days.”
The North's reunification spokesman added: “We have no more words to talk with South Korean officials.”
Sky News points out that “denuclearisation talks have been stalled” despite an agreement to revive them at a June meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Upping the ante yet further North Korea has test-fired two missiles into the sea off its eastern coast, according to the South Korean military.
The two “unidentified projectiles” travelled 230km (140 miles) reaching an altitude of 30km (18 miles), says South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff. It was the sixth such test in less than a month.
Although President Donald Trump has downplayed the weapons tests, CNN says analysts believe “they should give reason for Washington to worry”.
This “latest provocation” is intended to “pressure Seoul into pushing cross-border economic ties and persuading Washington to make concessions in any future talks over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme”, The Guardian says.