Aug 22, 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.

Dangerous and unusual military moves are now on the horizon, which would trigger a new cold war on the Korean Peninsula and in the region."
— North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson statement to KCNA

The big picture: The spokesperson said Pyongyang hoped to resolve all issues peacefully through dialogue and negotiation. "However, dialogue accompanied by military threats is of no interest to us."

Context: The statement attributed to a North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, run in full on the state-run KCNA news agency, was addressing the Pentagon's successful test of a midrange cruise missile at San Nicolas Island, California, on Sunday.

  • The test was the first of its kind since the U.S. officially pulled out of the Cold War-era Intermediate Nuclear Forces treaty with Russia, under which it would have been prohibited.

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 fires 2 projectiles after offering talks with U.S.: South Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, flanked by army officials. Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff say North Korea has fired 2 unidentified projectiles into the Sea of Japan, the South Korean Yonhap news agency reports.

Why it matters: The launch came hours after Pyongyang offered to resume nuclear talks with the U.S. This is the 10th such launch since May, in what appears to be yet another demonstration of North Korea expanding its weapons arsenal apparently with the intention of increasing leverage ahead of possible negotiations with the U.S.

Go deeperArrowSep 10, 2019

North Korea hackers spy on nuclear, sanctions experts: report

Photo: Evgeny Agoshkov\TASS via Getty Images

North Korea-linked hackers have expanded their campaign to spy on experts researching nuclear deterrence, North Korea’s nuclear submarine program and North Korean economic sanctions, according to research from Prevailion.

The big picture: Countries often use espionage to prepare for upcoming actions like new sanctions, improve their bargaining position by better understanding their adversary's goals, or to see what other people know. This could be an example of any of those.

Go deeperArrowSep 11, 2019