Aug 11, 2019

North Korea: No talks unless U.S. military exercises with Seoul end

Kim Jong-un. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

There will not be inter-Korean talks unless the U.S. and South Korea end joint military exercises that put North Korea as "an enemy," a Pyongyang official said Saturday, according to state media.

Why it matters: The announcement came hours after North Korea launched projectiles from its eastern coast — the latest in a series of weapons tests since North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and President Trump agreed to resume denuclearization talks at a June 30 meeting.

What they're saying: The state-run KCNA reports that Kim had "guided the test-fire of a new weapon," without specifying the type of system. Trump tweeted earlier that Kim has expressed a desire to restart negotiations.

Go deeper: Ignoring North Korean missile tests could hamper nuclear talks

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North Korea claims it tested "super-large" multiple rocket launcher

People watching a TV showing an image of a North Korean missile launch at the Seoul Railway Station on Aug. 10 in Seoul, South Korea. Photo: Chung Sung-Jun / Staff/ Getty Images

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un supervised the test-firing of a "newly developed super-large multiple rocket launcher," the country's state-run KCNA news agency reports.

Why it matters: This appears to be yet another demonstration of North Korea expanding its weapons arsenal apparently with the intention of increasing leverage ahead of the possible resumption of negotiations with the U.S. to denuclearize, as AP points out.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Aug 25, 2019

North Korea: U.S. cruise missile test dangerous

The Defense Department conducts a flight test of a conventionally configured ground-launched cruise missile at San Nicolas Island, California. Photo: Defense Department

North Korea on Thursday called the recent U.S. cruise missile test and military plans including the deployment of F-35 jets around the Korean peninsula "dangerous," warning the action "would trigger a new cold war."

Why it matters: Denuclearization talks between the U.S. and North Korea have continued to stall, despite President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreeing at a June 30 meeting to restart the negotiations. The situation on the Korean Peninsula remains tense. North Korea has conducted 6 weapons tests since June 25.

Go deeperArrowAug 22, 2019

U.S. fails to stop South Korea from axing intelligence deal with Japan

Japan's PM Abe (L) and South Korea's President Moon at the 2017 APEC summit. Photo: Jorge Silva/AFP/Getty Images

South Korea plans to sever an intelligence-sharing agreement with Japan amid a crisis between the two key U.S. allies.

Why it matters: The Trump administration had urged South Korea not to take this step, which could hamper communication over the threat from North Korea. It came after Japan elected to slow exports of sensitive materials to South Korea on national security grounds, a move that provoked outrage and boycotts in South Korea. The bitter feud is linked to colonial-era abuses by Japan and looks unlikely to be resolved soon.

Keep ReadingArrowAug 22, 2019