Nov 17, 2019

U.S., South Korea cancel joint military exercise condemned by North Korea

Mark Esper. Photo: Jung Yeon-je/pool/AFP via Getty Images

Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced Sunday that the U.S. and South Korea have canceled an annual joint military exercise as an "act of goodwill" in order to “keep the door open” for talks to eliminate North Korea’s nuclear weapons, according to the Associated Press.

The big picture: The U.S. and its regional allies have been trying to coax North Korea back to negotiations to eliminate its nuclear weapons and missiles since talks stalled earlier this year.

What they're saying: Esper said canceling the exercise was not a concession to North Korea but rather "a good-faith effort ... to facilitate a political agreement — a deal, if you will — that leads to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula," according to AP.

  • After Esper's announcement, North Korea's Foreign Ministry said the country has no plans to negotiate its nuclear programs unless the U.S. offers to withdraw its “hostile” policies against Pyongyang.

Of note: In the buildup to the U.S.-South Korea military exercise, North Korea stationed military aircraft at Wonsan International Airport, leading experts to believe that it was preparing a countermilitary exercise, NPR reports.

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North Korea conducts satellite test for second time in less than a week

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un supervised the test firing of a new multiple rocket launcher on July 31. Photo: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP via Getty Images

North Korea said on Saturday that it carried out another satellite launch test near the Chinese border, and that the unspecified test "would help bolster the country's nuclear deterrent," the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The reported test was conducted Friday evening — making it the second North Korean satellite launch in less than a week, state news agency KCNA said, per Reuters

Go deeperArrowDec 14, 2019

Trump views summits as chance to "brag," North Korea says

Trump and Kim at the DMZ in June. Photo: Handout/Dong-A Ilbo via Getty Images

North Korean state media accused President Trump of using meetings with Kim Jong-un as something to "brag about," and said Pyongyang isn't interested in further summits unless it gets concrete results, per the Washington Post.

Context: Referring to Kim as "Mr. Chairman," Trump tweeted yesterday that North Korea's characterization of Joe Biden as a "rabid dog" was "somewhat" off the mark, but added that he's the man with whom to strike a deal. While Trump signed off with "see you soon," North Korea insists the U.S. is using nuclear talks to stall for time and has issued an end-of-year deadline to keep them alive.

Go deeper: U.S., South Korea cancel joint military exercise condemned by North Korea

Keep ReadingArrowNov 18, 2019

North Korea fires two short-range projectiles, South Korea says

Kim Jong-un before a meeting with President Trump in June. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

South Korea's military says North Korea fired two short-range projectiles on Thursday that are believed to have come from a "super-large" multiple rocket launcher, per AP.

Between the lines: CNN notes that North Korea has conducted other missile tests on American holidays. It reports that nuclear negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea have been at a standstill for weeks, and that Kim Jong-un has given the Trump administration until the end of the year to change its strategy.

Keep ReadingArrowNov 28, 2019