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Report: North Korea launches more projectiles toward east coast

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 Korea launched “unidentified projectiles” twice into the sea toward the nation's east coast on Friday morning (local time), South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

Why it matters: This is the latest in a string of now 6 weapons tests since June 25, and follows Pyongyang's launch last Saturday of what DPRK state media called a “superior tactical” weapon. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump agreed to restart denuclearization negotiations at a June 30 meeting.

Last week, a Pyongyang official said there will be no inter-Korean talks unless the U.S. and South Korea end joint military exercises that position North Korea as "an enemy," according to state media.

What they're saying: “Our military has maintained readiness posture while tracking and monitoring the relevant movement in preparation for additional launch,” according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

  • The Joint Chiefs of Staff did not immediately specify what the most recent projectile launches were or how far they flew.
  • Pyongyang’s Korean Central News Agency said that after the most recent launch, Kim expressed “great satisfaction” at his military’s “mysterious and amazing success rates” in tests, AP notes. He reportedly plans to expand “invincible military capabilities no one dare provoke.” The agency added:″(Kim) said everyone should remember that it is the (ruling) party’s core plan and unwavering determination to build a powerful force strong enough to discourage any forces from daring to provoke us and to leave any opponent defenseless against our Juche weapons of absolute power even in situations of physical clashes.”

Catch up quick:

  • South Korea's military said North Korea launched two projectiles from its eastern coast Aug. 9, reports Reuters.
  • North Korea reportedly test-fired “a new multiple rocket launcher system that could potentially enhance the country’s ability to strike targets in South Korea“ on Aug. 2 (EST), the AP reports.
  • North Korea launched at least one short-range projectile into the Sea of Japan Aug. 1, according to a U.S. official's statement to ABC.
  • Two days before, North Korea fired 2 short-range ballistic missiles off its eastern coast, according to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Where it stands: Trump said that North Korea's 3 short-range missile tests the first week of August did not violate his 2018 agreement with Kim, but told Kim to "do the right thing" in a series of tweets.

  • Trump has downplayed North Korea's missile tests since meeting Kim at the demilitarized zone (DMZ).
  • The U.S. special envoy for North Korea intends to visit Japan and South Korea the week of August 19 in an attempt to secure North Korea's denuclearization, the State Department said Friday according to a Reuters report.

The other side: North Korea claims that its earlier test launches involved a "large-caliber multiple launch guided rocket system," per NPR and the AP — which contradicts American and South Korean military assessments to the public.

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

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include North Korea's description of its test launches.